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El Libro del conoscimiento 
de todos los reinos 

(The Book of Knowledge of All Kingdoms) 



Medieval and Renaissance 
Texts and Studies 

VOIUME 198 




El Libro del conoscimiento 
de todos los reinos 

(The Book of Knowledge of All Kingdoms) 



Edition, Translation, and Study 

by 

Nancy F. Marino 



Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies 

Tempe, Arizona 

1999 



A generous grant from The Program for Cultural Cooperation Between 
Spain's Ministry of Culture and United States' Universities has assisted in 
meeting the publication costs of this volume. 



© Copyright 1999 
Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 

El libro del conoscimiento de todos los reinos = The book of knowledge of all 
kingdoms / edition, translation and study by Nancy F. Marino. 

p. cm. — (Medieval & Renaissance texts & studies ; v. 198) 
Includes bibliographical references and index. 
, ISBN 0-86698-240-X (alk. paper) 
1. Voyages and travels. 2. Flags. I. Marino, Nancy F., 1951- . II. 
Tide: Book of knowledge of all kingdoms. III. Series: Medieval & Renais- 
sance Texts & Studies (Series) ; v. 198. 
G370.L5 1999 

910.4-dc21 99-13118 

CIP 



This book is made to last. 

It is set in Bembo, 

smythe-sewn and printed on acid-free paper 

to library specifications. 



Printed in the United States of America 



For Frank 
To the memory of Jules Piccus 



"Men travel about to wonder at the heights of mountains, the wide 
sweep of rivers, the circuit of the oceans, and the revolutions of the 
stars, but themselves they consider not." 

St. Augustine 



Table of Contents 



Foreword 



IX 



Introduction 

The Manuscript Sources 

A Real or Imaginary Journey? 

Possible Sources 

The Date of Composition 

Authorship 

The Heraldic Component 

The Libro del Conoscimiento as Travel Literature 

About the Edition and Translation 



XI 

xvi 

xxvii 

xxxii 

xxxviii 

xliv 

xlix 

Ivi 



Text and Translation 
Bibliography 



2 
111 



Indices 

Index to the Introduction 

Names and Places in the Text/Translation 



117 
121 



Foreword 



When Marcos Jimenez de la Espada first wrote about the Libro del 
conosdmiento de todos los reinos in 1874, he was enthusiastic about his plans to 
edit for the first time what he considered a historical account of the travels 
that an anonymous Franciscan missionary had made throughout Europe, 
Asia, and Afiica in the fourteenth century. Before his edition was finally 
published in 1877, Jimenez de la Espada's confidence in the text met with 
the ridicule of Alfired Morel-Fatio, Manuel Serrano y Sanz and others, who 
quickly recognized the apocryphal nature of the book: the voyage was too 
long, too extensive, and much too fantastic in parts to be accepted so 
readily as a true story. Despite Jimenez de la Espada's conviction in the ve- 
racity of this travel book, nineteenth- and twentieth-century evidence sug- 
gests otherwise. 

Probably composed in the last quarter of the fourteenth century, the 
Libro del conosdmiento is an anonymous work of some 20,000 words. It is 
doubtful that its author was a Franciscan friar, as the book's first editor 
imagined him. Jimenez de la Espada had at his disposal three manuscripts of 
the text firom which to render his edition. However, it is not entirely relia- 
ble because he modified the text without justification or explanation. In 
addition to this shortcoming, Jimenez de la Espada's introductory study is 
based upon his undemonstrable assumptions about the historicity of the 
book and its supposed Franciscan authorship. In 1912 Clements R. Mark- 
ham translated into English the text that Jimenez de la Espada provided in 
his edition. 

The need to re-edit the Conosdmiento has become even more pressing 
with the recent reappearance of a fourth manuscript, whose inclusion in the 
study of the present work reaffirms some opinions about the other three 
codices and helps establish a reliable text that is probably very close to the 
original. In addition, our knowledge about medieval travel books, geogra- 
phy, maps, and the state of exploration in the fourteenth century has in- 
creased enormously since the work's first modem appearance in 1877. This 
information has been indispensable not only for the purposes of editing the 



FOREWORD 



text, but also for the reconsideration of many aspects of the book (author- 
ship, sources, date of composition, etc.). In addition, it provides the modem 
reader with useful annotations. 

The present edition is the result of my participation in the ADMYTE 
project, for which I provided a paleographic edition of the Conoscimiento. 
When I agreed to undertake the editing of this text, I had little idea of what 
the book was about, and no concept of how suggestive a work it is; over 
the past few years, I have become obsessed with medieval maps, heraldic 
devices, and travel books in general. 

My thanks to Charles Faulhaber for suggesting that I edit this text for 
ADMYTE. I should also like to express my gratitude to Sir Peter RusseU, 
who has written several times on the Conoscimiento, examined the fourth 
manuscript before it was sold at Sotheby's and disappeared again for a time, 
and has been most encouraging about my edition of the text; and to Pedro 
M. Catedra, who helped me locate some materials that concern this work. 
The University of Salamanca, the Biblioteca Nacional (Madrid), and the 
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich) were most cooperative in sending me 
microfilms of the manuscripts, as was the library staff of the University of 
Arkansas, who provided me a photocopy of a facsimile of the Catalan Atlas 
of 1375. 



Introduction 



The Manuscript Sources 

Until 1993 scholars had available to them three manuscript witnesses of 
the Libro del conoscimiento; a fourth codex, missing since the seventeenth 
century, finally surfaced and was sold at Sotheby's in 1978, then disappeared 
into an unnamed "German state library," rendering it unaccessible for 
fifteen years. Its recent location in the Bayerische StaatsbibUothek in Mu- 
nich makes it possible to complete for the first time an edition of the work 
with all known extant manuscripts. All of the existing texts were copied in 
the mid- to late-fifteenth century and, as we shall see, there probably were 
at least two (and perhaps more) earlier exemplars of the Conoscimiento firom 
which these four were reproduced. 

The complete text of the Conoscimiento is found in MS. 1997 of the 
Biblioteca Nacional (Madrid), and is commonly referred to by the siglum 
S.' In addition to its completeness, S is also the most artistically rendered 
of the four codices. Its forty-nine foHos (numbered in modem times) are 
written on excellent vellum in a careful Gothic hand. The flexible parch- 
ment binding is relatively modem as well, perhaps dating firom the eight- 
eenth century, and on its spine is written Viaje del mundo con las Armas de 
todos sus Reynos [A Trip around the World with the Arms of all its Kingdoms]. 
Foho Ir has an initial capital E of eleven lines that contains an exquisite 
miniature of a gentleman seated at a writing table, on the lower shelf of 
which there are two jugs, painted in grey tones to simulate silver. He wears 
blue and red clothing and a black cap in the late fifteenth-century style, and 
is in the act of writing: in his right hand is a pen, in the left, an inkwell. 
Behind him is a window through which one can see the countryside and the 
wall of the next building. On this wall is a type of cabinet which appears to 



' This siglum was assigned to the manuscript by Marcos Jimenez de la Espada, in his edition of 
the Libro del conoscimiento de todos los reinos (Madrid, 1877; repr. Barcelona: El Albir, 1980) as were 
the sigla of the next two under consideration, N and R. I have found no reason to change them. 



Xll INTRODUCTION 



contain several other "silver" objects. The first folio also has an ornate and 
colorful border of flowers and other such decorative motifs. On the bottom 
of the page are two angels holding a red shield with the Hebrew letters that 
spell "Jeova." This last detail led nineteenth-century bibliographer Francisco 
Gonzalez Vera to convince the work's first editor, Marcos Jimenez de la 
Espada, that the manuscript once belonged to the famed fifteenth-century 
poet and book-collector, Inigo Lopez de Mendoza, Marques de Santillana: 
apparently all of his books were decorated similarly, but displayed Ave Maria 
gratia plena [Hail Mary, full of grace] instead ofjeovd on the shield. Gonzalez 
Vera believed that the manuscript probably had been adulterated by unscru- 
pulous persons who mishandled the Marques's library.^ He also believed 
that the gentleman depicted in the miniature was Santillana himself, whose 
portrait normally adorned the initial of the first folio of the codices he 
owned. After comparing the miniature in S with other known likenesses of 
the Marques, Jimenez de la Espada concluded that it was not the famous 
nobleman who was portrayed, rather it was the author of the Conoscimiento. 
This is probably an accurate assessment, given the activity of the individual 
in the miniature. Nevertheless, Jimenez de la Espada would go on to insist 
that the author was a Franciscan missionary, an incongruous idea consider- 
ing the evident secular and indeed elegant fashion of the man's clothing. 

The rest of manuscript 5 manifests the same quality of decoration. All of 
its initial letters are illuminated in red and blue, and the rendering of the 
108 coats of arms it displays is the most exquisite of the four extant manu- 
scripts. (There are also eight outlines of shields left blank.) There are no 
drawings of people or monuments, as there are in the other copies which 
we shall discuss below. The rich execution of the book probably means that 
it was destined for a serious and wealthy collector, the Marques de San- 
tillana or someone of like interests. Despite the great care taken for the 
appearance of this book, the copyist nonetheless had little idea of what he 
was writing; he made errors in reading the text firom which he copied, 
especially with place-names unfamiliar to him. But we must agree with 
Jimenez de la Espada that S seems to be the codex that contains the smallest 
number of copyist mistakes and errors of omission; this, coupled with its 
completeness, make it the most satisfactory of the manuscripts for use as the 
basis of an edition. In this we follow the lead of Jimenez de la Espada, and 



^ Peter E. RusseU, "La heraldica en el Libra del conosfimiento," in Studia Riquer, vol. 2 (Bar- 
celona: Quadems Crema, 1987), 688, is not convinced by this opinion. Mario SchifFdoes not 
count this work among those of the Marques's library, studied in his Z^ bihlioth^que du Marquis 
de Santillane (Paris: Emile Bouillon, 1905). 



INTRODUCTION xiii 



have employed S as the foundation for our edition. It is probably not, how- 
ever, the oldest of the four witnesses, as our predecessor would have it; but 
he had never seen the recendy re-emerged text that appears to be the ear- 
liest known copy. 

The Biblioteca Nacional owns a second manuscript of the Libro del cono- 
scimiento, MS. 9055 (siglum N). It is, however, incomplete. Unlike S, which 
lacks a title, N prefaces the text with the rubric: "[E]ste es el libro del 
conosfimiento de todos los rregnos et tierras et seiiorios que son por el 
mundo et delas senales et armas que han en cada tierra et senorio por sy et 
delos rreys et senores que las proueyen" [This is the book of knowledge of 
all the kingdoms and lands and lordships that there are in the world, and of 
the emblems and arms that there are in each land and lordship itself, and of 
the kings and lords that rule them]. Written on paper, Nis missing at least 
one folio at its end, and seven other folios interspersed throughout the text 
are unaccounted for as well. After its last existing folio (66v) there follow 
two blank pages, then the last half of the work entitled La Donzella Teodor 
[The Maiden Theodora] (fols. 69r-74r), and finally a list of some Visigothic 
and later kings of Spain (fols. 74v-78v). The entire manuscript was copied 
in one precise Gothic hand, perhaps by the "Rodericus de Gaton" who 
signed the last folio. At the foot of this page is written: "Aiio de mill et 
quatrof ientos et ^inquenta et quatro anos a veynte et dos dias del mes de 
Julyo fale^io el rrey don John en Valladolit" [Year of one thousand and four 
hundred and fifty- four years, at twenty-two days of the month of July King 
Don Juan died in Valladolid]. The manuscript evidently was copied some- 
time following the death of Juan II of Castile. 

The depiction of the coats of arms in N, while more than adequate, is 
not as well executed as in S. In addition to the 110 shields in this manu- 
script, there are eleven miniatures which portray unusual humans or famous 
places. As we have mentioned above, S contains no miniatures of this type. 
Besides some textual discrepancies, this is the aspect that most distinguishes 
S firom N (and from the other two codices as well, as we shall see below). 
ATs non-armorial illuminations are generally prefaced by a short piece of 
text which is missing, logically, from S. This usually takes the form of "et 
esta es su figura" [and this is its image], probably a copyist's makeshift inter- 
polation designed to introduce the drawing that follows. Important textual 
variants clearly demonstrate that S and N originated from distinct manu- 
script sources. These differences include both additions and omissions in N 
as well as variant use of lexical items. 

The third codex, MS. 1890 of the University of Salamanca (R), was 
housed previously in the library of the Royal Palace in Madrid, and prior 



INTRODUCTION 



to that in the Colegio Mayor de Cuenca. Like S, it offers a complete text 
of the Libro del Conosdmiento. Like N, it was written on paper, and bears the 
same title as in that manuscript. Less care was taken with the production of 
this text than with N or S: the script is not as regular, for example, and the 
coats of arms are represented the most primitively of all four codices. The 
drawing and illuminating were done hastily in most cases. Some shields are 
only half painted; some are not illuminated at all, but are simply outlined 
roughly in pen; several have been obliterated, probably the result of discov- 
ered but uncorrected errors; from fol. 37v to the end of the text on fol. 
41 V, the coats of arms disappear altogether although space was left for them 
by the copyist. The miniatures of monstrous humans and legendary places 
are likewise rendered poorly. 

R and Nseem to have been copied from the same source, as Jimenez de 
Espada also assumed.-^ Their texts are strikingly similar, and the discrepan- 
cies between them are not significant enough to suggest that they would 
have originated from two different manuscripts. The copyist of N, for 
example, sometimes omits a word or phrase, or sometimes inserts an incon- 
sequential addition (especially when introducing a miniature) or makes a 
relatively unimportant alteration (as in "rreynado" [reign] instead of "rreino" 
[kingdom]); and there are the typical variant readings of names unfamiliar to 
the copyists (Birona/Bixna, Liristol/Bristol, etc.). But Georges Pasch, in his 
study of the coats of arms of the three manuscripts known to him (5, R and 
N), concluded that the illustrators of these codices worked independently of 
one another; at times the representations of the shields are different in small 
ways, and sometimes there is nothing at all in common between them.^ 
Perhaps there is a simple, but unverifiable, explanation for this: once the 
copying of the text had been accomplished, the new codex could have 
passed on to an artist who worked firom a description rather than a visual 
image of the arms. 

In his 1678 work entitled Pro^ressos de la historia en el reyno de Aragon, y 
elogios de Geronimo Zurita [Progress of History in the Kingdom of Aragon and 
praise for Geronimo Zurita], Diego Jose Dormer described a book belonging 
to the Count of San Clemente that had previously been in the possession of 
the renowned Aragonese historian Zurita.^ Dormer called it a "Viaje del 
mundo, escrito en 1305 y tiene notas de Zurita" [Trip around the world. 



■* Jimenez de la Espada, Conosdmiento, xiii. 

* "Les drapeaux des cartes-portolans: Drapeaux du Ubro de Conosdmiento." Vexilhlogia: 
Bulletin de I'Assodation Franfaise d'Etudes Internationales de Vexillologie 2, nos. 1—2 (1969): 9. 
5 (Zaragoza, 1680). 268-69. 



INTRODUCTION 



written in 1305, and it has notes by Zurita], surely a reference to a copy of 
the Conoscimiento mistaking the author's stated date of birth for the year of 
composition of the work. This is the last mention of this particular manu- 
script until 1978, when it resurfaced at Sotheby's. Sir Peter Russell was 
fortunate at that time to have the opportunity to examine the codex before 
it disappeared again, and baptized it with the siglum Z in honor of its pre- 
vious owner. He recognized it as probably the oldest of the known texts, 
dating from the middle of the fifteenth century (rather than the latter half, 
when the others evidently had been produced) and noted its many Aragon- 
ese spellings which suggest that it was copied by an Aragonese amanuensis 
who was working from a Castilian text.^' 

Written on vellum, manuscript Z now consists of twenty folios and is 
incomplete at its end. It is bound in worn red leather and has the remains 
of four pairs of closing ties. Zurita's signature can be seen at the top of fol. 
Iv; he also added short annotations (generally just a place-name) to five 
folios, but none of these notes is particularly elucidative. The most inter- 
esting aspect of this codex is its frontispiece illumination, which depicts a 
man in lay dress presenting a book with a red binding to an unidentifiable 
King of Castile. Above, the arms of Castile and Leon are shown on either 
side of the arms of the Orden de la Banda [Order of the Garter], founded 
in 1330. Two men in court costume flank the king, who is seated, and be- 
hind whom can be seen the countryside. It is not far-fetched to imagine 
that the man offering the book is meant to represent the author. In this 
case, we may have two illuminations (the present one and the initial E of 
manuscript S) that depict a definitely secular author, and not a Franciscan 
friar as Jimenez de la Espada and others have believed he was. 

Russell is correct in thinking that the reappearance of manuscript Z 
places into doubt Jimenez de la Espada's supposition that S was the oldest 
known codex. But Russell also casts doubt on Jimenez's opinion that S is 
the superior source of the Conoscimiento given that, like N and R, Z in- 
cludes drawings of strange humans and legendary places that seem to coin- 
cide with the intentions of the author.^ However, after comparing Z to the 
other three extant codices, it clearly cannot supersede S as the superior tex- 
tual version. In the first place, Z is the most incomplete of the four texts, 
missing perhaps as many as three folios at its end (absent is the narrator's 



'' The language of aU of the manuscripts is Castilian, and only MS. Z shows signs that its 
copyist was not Castilian. In this study we will not address any phonological or lexical issues of 
this text. 

^ Russell, "La heraldica," 689. 



xvi INTRODUCTION 



return to Spain from Persia). But even more important is the copyist's 
egregious carelessness in the execution of his task. Comparison of Z with N 
and R seems to confirm that it was copied from the same or a similar 
source, but there are striking discrepancies in Z that can only be attributed 
to the laxity of the person who reproduced it. The omissions are both nu- 
merous and important: often whole words, phrases, or sentences are absent, 
firequently to the detriment of the grammatical sense of a particular section. 
It is a characteristic of the author's style to mention a place-name more than 
once in a sentence or a paragraph; it is a characteristic of the copyist of Z 
to duplicate the text up to the first mention of a name, leave out any text 
found between it and the second mention, then continue to copy from that 
point. This is the obvious result of inattention to his work. But the conse- 
quences to the author's original composition of the book are dire. Besides 
this kind of common error of omission, the reader must also contend with 
the oversight and consequent elimination of entire passages that result in the 
total absence of information about certain kingdoms. The omission of text 
is compounded by the copyist's gratuitous (although relatively harmless) 
addition of the adverb muy [very] to adjectives such as grande [large] or 
poblado [populated]. The indifference of the amanuensis toward his work 
therefore taints the merit of Z, making it the least reliable of the four extant 
manuscripts. 



A Real or Imaginary Journey? 

Scholars who most recently have considered the Libra del conosdmiento 
generally accept that it is a pseudo-travel book which does not describe an 
authentic voyage throughout the world as it was known in the mid-four- 
teenth century. Rather, it is instead a geographical "novel" composed prob- 
ably with the aid of a portolan chart or mappamundi. The present disbelief 
in the likelihood of such travel is based on our current knowledge of ge- 
ography, toponymy, navigation by land and sea, as well as the amount of 
time needed to accomplish this kind of extensive travel. In the fourteenth 
century, however, the credibility of the information in the Conosdmiento 
apparently was not questioned at all. As we are about to see, soon after the 
book was written some explorers employed it as an authority on geography, 
and it might even have served as a source of information for a section of a 
mid-fifteenth-century map. By the end of that century, however, recent 
discoveries and explorations probably improved on or disproved much of 
the geographical data presented in the book; its primary element of interest 
became its description and pictoral representation of the heraldic arms of 



INTRODUCTION 



many nations, rather than its narrative of the long journey. Ironically, when 
the Conoscimiento was rediscovered and published in the nineteenth century, 
its editor and other scholars once again chose to believe that the anonymous 
author actually did undertake the virtually impossible voyage he described. 
In early May 1402, an expedition left the seaport of La RocheUe with 
the intention of conquering the Canary Islands for the French crown. The 
campaign was headed by Jean de Bethencourt, a nobleman from Normandy 
who was assisted by Gadifer de la Salle, a minor noble who could be consid- 
ered a soldier of fortune. Their unexpected reliance on Castilian assistance 
for materials and men for this expedition led Bethencourt to shift his alle- 
giance to the Castilian monarchy and eventually to establish a Spanish colony 
in the Canaries. In addition to his expectation of conquest, he planned to 
sail the west coast of Africa south of Cape Boujdour (a navigational limit at 
the time) and locate the celebrated "River of Gold." Here he planned to 
take as much gold as he could find, convert to Christianity as many Guin- 
eans as possible, and travel to the kingdom of Prester John, which he also 
expected to find in Afiica." The chronicle of Bethencourt's actual and in- 
tended activities is entitled Le Canarien, composed by Pierre Bontier and 
Jean LeVerrier, both priests. In their discussion of the expedition's explora- 
tion of African territory, the authors wrote of the reliance on the Conosci- 
miento for geographical data: 

As M. de Bethencourt had a great desire to learn the true state and 
government of the land of the Saracens and their sea-ports . . . we 
have here inserted sundry notes on this subject, extracted from a 
book by a mendicant friar who made the tour of this country and 
visited all the sea-ports, which he mentions by name. He went 
through all the countries. Christian, Pagan, and Saracen, of those 
parts, and names them all. He mentions the names of the provinces, 
and the arms of the kings and princes, which it would be tedious to 
describe. . . . Finding his account correct of the countries they al- 



* The River of Gold and Prester John were, of course, only attractive legends. Prester John 
was thought to be an extremely wealthy priest-king who lived in Ethiopia; belief in his existence 
was so strong that ambassadors were sent twice to 6nd him. See C. F. Beckingham, "The Quest 
for Prester John," Bulletin of the John Rylands Ubrary of Manchester 62 (1979-80): 290-304. 

On the River of Gold, see E. G. R. Taylor, "Pactolus: River of Gold," Scottish Geographical 
Magazine 44 (1928): 129-44. 

Felipe Fernandez Armesto, in his Before Columbus: Exploration and Civilization from the 
Mediterranean to the Atlantic, 1229-1492 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987), 
181, believes that Bethencourt drew his information about the location of the River of Gold 
from the Libra del Conoscimiento, then enhanced it with detail from legend as well as from his 
own imagination about the easy accessibility of gold there. 



xviii INTRODUCTION 



ready knew, they relied on his information with regard to all the 
other countries; they have therefore inserted in the sequel other 
extracts from his book, as they found occasion.'^ 

It was this book's convincing description of a sailing venture south of Cape 
Boujdour (which provided accurate distances between sites and therefore 
seemed credible), its information about the location of the River of Gold, 
and its directions on how to reach Prester John's kingdom by sea, that gave 
the Bethencourt campaign confidence that they would accomplish their 
expeditionary goals. Jean Richard conjectures that, because of the many 
credible details concerning types of shipping vessels and travel by camel in 
this section of the book, the explorers did not realize that it might be a de- 
scription of an imaginary journey. Buenaventura Bonnet and George Kimble 
consider the French nobleman's dependence on the Conoscimiento as evidence 
that the narrative was well-known throughout Europe at the time, and in 
fact was employed as a textbook, especially of the geography of Afiica.'^ 

The failure of the Bethencourt expedition to locate the River of Gold 
and Prester John did not dampen the hopes of other fifteenth-century ex- 
plorers, notably Henry the Navigator, who in the 1420s proposed to under- 
take a journey whose objectives were essentially the same as those proposed 
by his French predecessors. Peter Russell reflects on the similarities between 
these two ventures and concludes that the Portuguese prince may have read 
a translation of Le Canarien, and decided to attempt the exploration of 
Africa based upon what he had learned.'^ This would mean, of course, 
that Henry would have been influenced at least in an indirect manner by 
the information from the Libro del conoscimiento contained in the French 
chronicle, and it is likely that he was familiar with the anonymous book 
itself. While there is no documented evidence of the specific work or works 
that Henry may have consulted to provide him with information on Afiican 
exploration, Russell deduces from the similarity between the 1402 cam- 
paign and the Infante's intended journeys that the Conoscimiento may have 
played a significant role in these plans, and that Le Canarien probably gave 



'^ Jean de Bethencourt, TTie Canarien or Book of the Conquest and Conuersion of the Canarians 
in the year 1402, trans. Richard Henry Major (London, 1872), 96-97. It is evident that a copy 
of the Conoscimiento no longer extant was consulted by these explorers, because the four 
manuscripts we know today all date from the second half of the fifteenth century. 

'"Jean Richard, Les recits de voyages et de pekrinages (Turnhout: Brepols, 1981), 35; Buena- 
ventura Bonnet, "Las Canarias y el primer libro de Geografia medieval, escrito por un fraile 
espaiiol en 1350," Revista de Historia 67 (1944): 207; George H. T. Kimble, Geography in the 
Middle Ages (London: Methuen, 1938), 113. 

" "The Infante Dom Henrique and the Libro del conoscimiento del mundo," in In mcmo- 
riam Ruhen Andresen Leitao, vol. 2 (Lisbon, 1981): 259-67. 



INTRODUCTION xix 



him impetus to undertake his own exploration of the Atlantic coast of 
Africa. But the Conoscimiento misled its readers to believe that sailing south 
of Boujdour was not only a feasible but a common navigational feat as early 
as the mid-1300s; it deceived Bethencourt and probably the Infante as well. 
Bethencourt's confidence in and utilization of the geographical material 
of the Conoscimiento convinced Marcos Jimenez de la Espada, the nine- 
teenth-century editor of the book, that the author in fact did accomplish 
the voyage in question. For his conviction he was reproached strongly by 
some of his contemporaries and defended by others. His harshest critic was 
Alfred Morel-Fatio, who substantiated his own rejection of the validity of 
the book with corroboration from other scholars. The geographer Otto 
Peschel, for example, remarks that the book is so full of absurdities that it 
seems but a literary prank. '^ Morel-Patio's own objections have to do in 
part with a disparaging comment about the veracity of the Lihro del conosci- 
miento made in the 1630 publication of Le Canarien, edited by Pierre Berge- 
ron. In the section which recounts the "mendicant fiiar's" stay in the city 
which was the supposed residence of Prester John, the 1630 version says: 
"He remained there several days, for he saw there a considerable number of 
marvelous things, of which at present we make no mention in this book, in 
order to hasten on to other matters, and for fear the reader might take them 
for lies."'^ The original edition apparently read: "... in order to hasten on 
to other matters, and our intention is, with the grace of God, to declare 
them more fully at another time."'** According to Bonnet, Bergeron adul- 
terated his version, omitting certain chapters, joining others together to 
form one, eliminating entire sentences, and modernizing the text.'^ Bon- 
net would vindicate Jimenez de la Espada because of the alteration of the 
quotation used by Morel-Fatio to discredit the Conoscimiento. However, this 
eliminates only one of his arguments against the authenticity of the book. 
Later we shall examine others. Manuel Serrano y Sanz is as rigorous as 
Morel-Fatio in his refusal to accept that the book reflects a true travel 
experience: "[SJolamente por un efecto de esas alucinaciones que a veces 
padecen los eruditos encariiiados con un autor 6 una obra, se puede explicar 
que sostuviese lo contrario un hombre de tan acertado criterio y vasta ilus- 
tracion cual era el Sr. Jimenez de la Espada" [Only by the effect of these 



'^ Alfred Morel-Fatio, review of Andan(as e viajes de Pew Tafur por diuersas partes del mundo 
avidos, 1435-1439, ed. Marcos Jimenez de la Espada, Revue Critique d'Histoire et de Litterature 9 
(1875), 136-37; Otto Peschel, Geschichte der Erdkunde (Amsterdam: Meridian, 1961), 174. 

" Bethencourt, Le Canarien, 101-02. 

'* Bonnet, "Las Canarias," 205-27. The translation from page 214 is mine. 

'^ Bonnet, "Las Canarias," 213. 



XX INTRODUCTION 



hallucinations that scholars enamored of an author or a work sometimes 
suffer, can one explain that a man of such good judgment and vast erudi- 
tion, which Mr. Jimenez de la Espada was, might sustain the contrary]."' 

There is another navigational reference in the Libra del conosdmiento that 
has intrigued and probably misled its readers since the late Middle Ages: the 
fate of the Vivaldi expedition of 1291. In May of that year, Ugolino Vi- 
valdi, his brother, two Franciscan fiiars and several other Genoese men 
outfitted two galleys and put to sea to find India by sailing through the 
Strait of Gibraltar. No one had ever before attempted this route to the 
East.'^ Whether the Vivaldis intended to circumnavigate the Afiican con- 
tinent or sail across the Atlantic Ocean is not made clear in the documents 
of the era that report the event. In any case, the galleys disappeared after 
passing a place called Gozora on the Afirican coast. The author of the Cono- 
sdmiento claims to have been informed about the fate of the Vivaldi expedi- 
tion during his trip through Africa. In the section of the work that deals 
with his presumed travels through Nubia and Ethiopia, the narrator stops at 
"Gran^iona" (Aksum, the capital of an ancient Ethiopian kingdom) where 
he had heard that one of the galleys had shipwrecked and its men had 
escaped. The other galley was never heard fi-om again. He was told also that 
"Sorleonis," the son of one of the Genoese merchants, went in search of his 
father at a place called Magdasor. Although he was received with great 
honors, the Emperor did not allow him to cross Gran9iona in his search 
because of the dangers of the journey. 

To his contemporaries, the narrator seems to speak with authority on 
the subject: Ugolino Vivaldi in fact did have a son named Sor Leone; the 
traveler knows the number and flag of the galleys, and so forth. But his 
mention of "Magdasor" is an ambiguous, although crucial reference. Did he 
mean Mogador, the Moroccan port on the Atlantic, or Mogadishu, the 
Somalian city on the other side of Afiica on the Indian Ocean? Francis 
Rogers and Florentino Perez Embid are convinced that the author intended 
to name a site on Afirica's Atlantic coast, where he was "visiting" when he 
heard these remarks.'" Gozora, where the Vivaldi expedition abruptly 



"" Autohiograjia y memorias (Madrid: Bailly-Bailliere e hijos, 1925), xli. 

" Among the many studies of the Vivaldi voyage is the usefijl article by Francis M. Rogers, 
"The Vivaldi Expedition," Annual Report of the Dante Society of America 73 (1955): 31-45. 

'* Rogers, "The Vivaldi Expedition," 42, and Perez Embid, Los descubrimientos en el Atlantico 
y la rivalidad castellano-portuguesa hasta el Tratado de Tordesillas (Seville, 1948), 58. Carlo Conti 
Rossini, "II Lihro del Conosdmiento e le sue notizie sull'Etiopie," Bollettino della Reale Society 
Geograftca Italiana Series 5, 6:9-10 (1917): 675, n.l, believes that it is Mogadishu, and says that 
this is the earliest, if not the absolute earliest, mention of this place in Western sources. 



INTRODUCTION 



ended, is probably the ancient city of Gaetulia (Gazula in the Conosc imie 
nto), a place on the West African coast opposite the Canary Islands. Perez 
Embid assumes that the Vivaldi brothers intended to find the route to India 
by sailing west into the Atlantic Ocean — therefore anticipating Columbus' 
voyage 200 years later — and that they were probably shipwrecked or fell 
victim to Berber pirates.'*^ Fernandez Armesto (and other readers both 
medieval and contemporary) believe that the Genoese galleys, ill-suited for 
either African or Atlantic waters, were headed around Africa in their search 
for a route to India when their vessels were destroyed.^" In either case, 
readers of the Conoscimiento were led to believe that such expeditions had 
been attempted a century prior to the composition of the book, a supposi- 
tion that could have led to other efforts to do the same. 

The credibility given to the Libro del conoscimiento also might have led to 
its use in the production of the Este World Map, a work of Catalan origin 
dating from the mid-fifteenth century. Kimble believes that "the only part 
of the map which may be considered unmistakably moulded on the narra- 
tive is the west coast of Africa, south of Cape Verde. The delineation of a 
longitudinal gulf, doubtless intended for the Gulf of Guinea, with the 
nomenclature accompanying it recalls, in the most striking fashion, the 
Friar's Gulf "^' All other Catalan maps, including the famous 1375 mappa- 
mundi, depict nothing south of the River of Gold. But the maker of the 
Este World Map does not refer to information found in the Conoscimiento 
when working on other parts of Afiica, as the map legends and the details 
in the travel book do not coincide anywhere else. Based on this presumed 
reliance on the Conoscimiento, Kimble concludes, as others have, that the 
work was employed as a geography textbook in the early fifteenth century. 

Today we have many good reasons to doubt that the author of the Libro 
del conoscimiento actually undertook the journey he narrates. The routes he 
proposes and the amount of time it would have taken in the fourteenth 
century to accomplish all of this make this extraordinary journey virtually 
inconceivable. The text is so replete with place-names as to make the sup- 
posed itinerary of the book difficult to follow. Because the author apparent- 
ly employed a map to create his travel route, he frequently enumerates 
cities, rivers, and mountains where he does not claim to have been, compli- 
cating the task of differentiating between his course of travel and places 
merely mentioned in the general area of his "visit." A further obstacle to 



" Perez Embid, Los descubrimietitos, 58. 
-" Fernandez Armesto, Before Columbus, 152. 

^' George H. T. Kimble, Foreword to Catalan World Map of the R. Bihiioteca Estense at 
Modetia (London: Royal Geographical Society, 1934), 8. 



XXil INTRODUCTION 



understanding the itinerary is that many of the place-names have changed 
over the centuries, some cities mentioned no longer exist, and others are 
purely legendary. For the sake of simplicity, we offer here a synopsis of the 
narrator's course of travel. The outline will also serve to demonstrate the 
improbability of this journey, as the traveler constantly criss-crosses Europe, 
Asia, and Africa, returning to remote places, suddenly appearing in cities far 
from the last place mentioned without reporting his departure or arrival, 
and visiting fictitious locations. 

The narrator begins his journey in Seville, sets out to Portugal, then 
north to Galicia. He travels east along the north coast of Spain, crosses the 
French border to visit Bayonne, then returns to Navarre. From here he 
traverses the Pyrenees and follows the western coast of France to the mouth 
of the Loire River. After traveling four days inland to Paris, he heads 
toward the north coast and sees Dieppe, Calais, then Bruges. Once he has 
toured several other cities in Belgium, the traveler proceeds to Cologne, 
passing through Germany and Austria to the Czech border. He returns to 
Cologne, traveling on to the Netherlands and Denmark, then to the north- 
em coast of Germany. He follows the coast to Poland, apparently heads 
south to Krakow, then sets out for Lithuania before turning south into the 
area bordering Bohemia, Romania, and Ukraine. 

Without mention of his departure from Ukraine, we suddenly find the 
narrator on the Swedish coast of the Baltic Sea, where he embarks for the 
island of Gotland, subsequently returning to Sweden. The journey contin- 
ues to Norway, where the traveler boards an English ship for Denmark and 
then heads back to Norway. He now sails to Scotland, England, and Ire- 
land, where he learns of a ship that is going to Spain. He boards it and pro- 
ceeds first to the north, passing to the Orkney, Shetland, and Faroe Islands 
before reaching Iceland. 

The boat then sails to Spain, landing at Pontevedra, and continues south 
to Algeciras and Gibraltar. Soon thereafter the narrator departs for Aragon 
and Barcelona. He next travels the coast to Ampurias, then Narbonne and 
along the southern coast of France, finally reaching Genoa. From here he 
heads inland to Lombardy, south to Tuscany, then on to Rome. At Rome 
he follows the coastline along the boot of Italy to Pescara, making his way 
to Sicily, rounding it from its northeast comer. The intrepid tourist now 
boards a galley and arrives at Naples, and subsequently repeats his trip 
around the Italian shore, this time reaching Venice. 

At Venice the narrator follows the Adriatic seacoast to Albania. He sud- 
denly speaks of cities in Hungary without mentioning having traveled there, 
and leaves this country once again heading for Albania, where he embarks 



INTRODUCTION 



for Peloponnesus. From here he sails on to Rhodes, Crete, and along 
southern Turkey until he reaches Syria. 

The traveler next progresses to North Africa on a voyage around the 
eastern Mediterranean to Cairo, then continues west along the northern 
coast of Africa. He arrives at Tunisia but directly leaves there for Sardinia 
and Corsica before returning to the African continent and moving on to 
Algeria. Once again he ventures off" the straight course, this time visiting 
Majorca, then comes back to North Africa, disembarking in Ceuta or 
Melilla. By land he heads for Fez, then for the Atlantic coast of Morocco 
before going south and inland to climb the western part of the Atlas Moun- 
tains. Once more he finds himself on the Atlantic shore, traveling south in 
an oar-propelled boat to Cape Boujdour. Here he boards a Moorish ship 
that sets off" for the Canary Islands, traveling also to the Selvage Islands, Ma- 
deira, and the Azores. He goes back to Boujdour, then crosses the Sahara 
on camels with another group of Moors. The party heads south for Senegal 
to the legendary Kingdom of Organa and on to the equally fictitious King- 
dom of Tauser. From there the traveler heads north to Tlemcen (between 
Melilla and Oran) before leaving for the Nile, which he cruises with some 
Genoese merchants who are headed for Cairo and Damietta. Here the nar- 
rator embarks with some Christians and repeats his journey to Ceuta and 
the Atlas Mountains, boards a Moorish ship for the apocryphal River of 
Gold, and heads south of that to present-day Sierra Leone. 

Once again on land, the indefatigable traveler crosses Afiica and ends up 
in Aksum, an Ethiopian city, and Malsa, the imaginary city where the 
mythical Prester John was believed to reside. From this area he continues to 
Mogadishu, then north along the eastern side of the Red Sea, trekking into 
Iraq, then across Arabia to Mecca (which, apparently unknown to the 
author, at that time did not receive Christian visitors). He goes along the 
south coast of present-day Saudi Arabia to the Gulf of Aden before pro- 
ceeding to the entrance of the Persian Gulf From there he sails across the 
Arabian Sea to India, where he visits Delhi and other cities. 

From India the narrator goes to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and the Bay of Ben- 
gal, then east to Burma. Unexpectedly we find him in a merchant ship in 
the South China Sea heading toward Java, only to return to Burma. Then 
he journeys to Cathay, making a long trip to the legendary castle of Ma- 
gog,^^ where he claims to have stayed "for a time." Leaving Magog he 



^^ The story of Gog and Magog, followers of the Antichrist, appeared in the prophecy of 
Ezekiel. He predicted that they would rise up and take over the Earth on the Day of Judgement. 
They were believed to be found in northeastern Asia. Medieval lore has Alexander building a 



INTRODUCTION 



moves on to a city called Norgancio, apparently located somewhere be- 
tween the Caspian Sea and the Ural Mountains, and from there to Astra- 
khan (on the northwest comer of the Caspian) and on to the Persian King- 
dom. Once in Persia the traveler visits Teheran, then goes south to Shiraz 
before leaving Persia with some Christian merchants. They sail down a 
spurious branch of the Euphrates River to Asia Minor (Turkey) and Tara- 
bulus (Lebanon). 

The narrator now boards another Christian ship which embarks for 
Cyprus and Constantinople. They circumnavigate the Black Sea from west 
to east, laying over at the Crimea and Trabizond (Turkey), an important 
stopover on the trade route frequented by Genoese and Venetian mer- 
chants. Afterward he crosses Turkey with some other merchants, and they 
traverse Georgia to Derbent (on the Caspian), then head south along the 
eastern side of the sea. From there the traveler proceeds up the Volga River 
to a lake named Tanais^-' into the Russian Kingdom of Sebu, near Mos- 
cow. He turns south to Ukraine before suddenly turning up on a branch of 
the Volga in western Russia and equally as swiftly (without mentioning his 
passage), he arrives in Sweden. 

The incredible journey comes to an end as the unflagging traveler sails 
down the Baltic coast of Sweden to Denmark, into Belgium, then abruptly 
finds himself in Seville, firom where he began his extraordinary travels. 

Typically the geographers who have discredited the Conoscimiento based 
upon its evident dependence on maps available at the time and the errors in 
reading them which its author plainly makes, Leo Bagrow, Raymond Beaz- 
ley, Georges Pasch, and J. K. Hyde,^"* all agree on these points. Kimble 
singles himself out by saying that, although the book might seem at first to 
be a false account, closer examination will demonstrate its veracity. In the 
first place, he contends, the narrative is not plagiarized from earlier travel 
books; therefore its originality attests to its truthfulness. This argument is not, 
of course, logical. Even if the author did not copy his information from exist- 
ing narrative examples this does not prove that it is a true story. Kimble also 
finds in the book "the stamp of credibility" missing from known noveUzed 



gate to contain them, a legend referred to in the Conoscimiento. On mappaemundi they are 
depicted often as two giants. See A. R. Anderson's and Ian Michael's works on this subject in 
the Bibhography. 

"^ The Tanais appears to be the river Don, whose source is a lake, which could explain this 
reference. 

^* Leo Bagrow, History of Cartography (Chicago: Precedent, 1985), 66; Raymond C. Beazley, 
The Dawn of Modem Geography (London: H. Frowde, 1906), 3:416, n.l; Pasch, "Drapeaux du 
Libra del Conoscimiento," 8; J. K. Hyde, "Real and Imaginary Journeys in the Later Middle Ages," 
Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester 65A (1982): 144-45. 



INTRODUCTION 



travel books such as the Travels of Sir John Mandeville. "Credible" to Kimble 
means that the author limited the number of times he mentions fantastic 
animals and humans and their unconventional behavior. He also considers 
references to the profit made by merchants or the author's visit to an Afri- 
can king to be "natural touches" of "a bona fide mode of expression which 
seems to belie the charge of fabrication." In addition, Kimble is impressed 
by the exactitude of the Conoscimiento's description of the coast of West 
Africa, and attributes it to the narrator's first-hand knowledge of the re- 
gion. ^^ But none of these lines of reasoning constitute plausible proof that 
such a voyage in fact did take place. 

Some scholars believe that the author might have undertaken at least 
some of the journey, then invented the rest to complete his "tour" of the 
known world. Bonnet admits that it would have been impossible to cover 
so much ground in a reasonable amount of time: some estimates place the 
required time to complete this voyage at twenty years. He is taken, though, 
by the idea that the author was a Franciscan missionary and was probably 
present, therefore, in North Africa where he gleaned direct information 
about the area.^^' In his introduction to a facsimile of Jimenez de la Es- 
pada's edition of the Libro del conoscimiento, Francisco Lopez Estrada com- 
ments that some of the facts put forth in the book might be true and might 
even be the product of personal experience, but others obviously originate 
in geographical lore and the works of others. ^^ Martin de Riquer assumes 
that the author did not make the journey all at one time, but rather in seg- 
ments over a twenty-year period.^" While it is not inconceivable that the 
author in fact did make some of the voyage outlined in his book, as any 
merchant, herald, missionary, ambassador, or pilgrim might have done, it is 
difficult to accept that he personally took part in all of it. Even Clements 
Markham, who translated Jimenez de la Espada's edition into English, does 
not accept the Hteralness of the entire narrative. He does accept, however, 
the premise that the author was "a great traveller" who combined his own 
experiences with other geographical information he gathered.^'^ Serrano y 
Sanz effectively sums up his reasons for not embracing the theory of author- 



" Kimble, Catalan World Map, 111-13. 

^'' Bonnet, "Las Canarias," 210-11. 

^' Uhro del conosfimierito de todos los reinos, ed. Marcos Jimenez de la Espada (Madrid, 1877; 
reprint with a foreword by Francisco Lopez Estrada, Barcelona: El Albir, 1980), no page. 

^^ "La heraldica en el LdC y el problema de su datacion," Dicenda: Cuadewos de Filologia 
Hispdnica, vol. 6 of Estudios y textos dedicados a Francisco Lopez Estrada (Madrid: Universidad Com- 
plutense, 1987), 319. 

^'' Knowledge of the World, ed. and trans. Clements Markham (London: Hakluyt Society, 
1912), xi. 



xxvi INTRODUCTION 



traveler: "De ser cierta su narracion nos encontrariamos con el viajero mas 
audaz y afortunado que registra la Historia, al lado del cual Marco Polo 
resultaria un vulgar turista" [If his narration were true we would find 
ourselves beholding the most audacious and fortunate traveler that History 
records, next to whom Marco Polo would result a common tourist]/^'* 

Some of those who have considered this issue have found errors in the 
book that belie the assumption that the author truly made the journey. 
Hyde, for example, points out several such inaccuracies. To reach Ireland 
from England, the traveler claims to have made a short crossing of only one 
mile, an inaccuracy. His knowledge of the Mediterranean seems second- 
hand, and he "does not follow any credible sailing route." Bosnia, accord- 
ing to the narrator, is the name of a mountain, and Crete is a city on 
Rhodes, whose position he mistakenly describes. These misrepresentations, 
Hyde conjectures, are probably due to the author's simple misreading of the 
information on a map he was consulting.^' But they also strongly suggest 
that he never traveled to these particular places. Conti Rossini recognizes an 
error in the narrator's tale of his trip to Dongola (Nubia). Our traveler refers 
to Dongola as a Christian state, but it ceased to be one by the end of the 
thirteenth century; at the time of the Conoscimiento's composition, the ruler 
of this state was Muslim, and had been so for some time. Conti Rossini 
therefore concludes that this fact affirms the rhetorical nature of the part of 
the book.^^ If the author were a Franciscan missionary, as so many scholars 
would have it, would he not be abundantly aware of this fact, given that 
the Franciscans first arrived in the north of Africa in 1220? 

There are entirely fictitious elements of the story that, although appar- 
ently believed to be true by the author, are evidence to the modem reader 
of a falsified account. Among these many now conspicuous blunders are the 
narrator's sighting of Noah's Ark atop Mount Ararat, his stay at the legen- 
dary castle of Magog, a visit to mythical Malsa, home of the fictional Prester 
John, and trips to non-existent nations such as Organa. 

Despite the geographical impossibilities and the inclusion of fantasy, the 
author of the Conoscimiento supplies some genuine touches of contemporary 
reality. His initial departure firom and final return to Seville is well-chosen: 
besides being an important port at this time, Seville was also the starting 
point in the 1370s of several expeditions to the Canary Islands, sponsored 



'" Serrano y Sanz, Autohiografla, xli. 

■" Hyde, "Real and Imaginary Journeys," 144—45. 

■'^ Cond Rossini, "U Uhro del Conoscimiento," 665. 



INTRODUCTION 



by Sevillian merchants interested in the slave trade.^^ The author was 
apparently also aware of the frenzied interest in the search for gold that was 
encouraged by the stories of the River of Gold. He probably used a com- 
mon illustration on mappaemundi of the era that depicted Jacme Ferrer, 
who in 1346 set out to find the legendary river and abruptly disappeared. 
The author also wrote of African ants that dug up gold nuggets as they 
made their home underground, a legend that dates back to Herodotus. 

Despite certain properties that have convinced some that the author 
recounted a personal experience, there are simply too many discrepancies 
and fantastic elements in the book to allow the informed reader to accept 
it as a totally true account. While it is possible that the anonymous author 
really did travel to some of these places at one or more points in his life, the 
ratio of real travel to invented journey seems to be quite small. The book 
can be therefore best described today as a geographical "novel," and not an 
authentic travel book. 



Possible Sources 

In the previous section we established with some certainty that the 
anonymous author of the Libra del conoscimiento could not have made the 
entire journey he describes in a reasonable amount of time. His geographi- 
cal errors also support the argument that the narrative is not entirely a 
product of his own experience. Even if the author actually did participate 
in some of the travel he details, he would have required at least one other 
source to help him fabricate the remainder of his account. It is apparent 
enough that, for the necessary geographical data, one or more maps of the 
era would have served him well, since essentially all of the sites he claims to 
have visited (both real and imaginary) appear on a chart from the mid-four- 
teenth-century. But his narrative is not just a list of cities and countries and 
the routes that lead to them; in addition to a long catalogue of places, the 
author includes names of historical and legendary personages, references to 
historical events and early exploration, unusual animals and humans, legen- 
dary cities, and the coats of arms of more than one hundred states and rulers. 
While it might appear that he needed to have at his disposal a number of 
different works in order to research these various aspects, the author readily 
could have secured all of these items from but one source: a mappamundi. 



'■* Some critics have supposed, therefore, that the author was from Seville, or at least 
Andalusian. See Russell, "La heraldica," 691. 



xxviii INTRODUCTION 



Mappaemundi are more than simply maps of the world, as their name 
might imply; they contain an abundance of material and have a didactic 
purpose rather than an exclusively geographical one. Explorers, merchants, 
ambassadors and missionaries who required a reliable source of information 
for travel purposes did not use mappaemundi, but instead referred to mari- 
time charts called portolans, which correctly illustrated coastlines and seas. 
Serious travelers had little use for the typical mappamundi, which included 
a combination of geographical places, historical facts and fiction, description 
of peoples both real and mythical, legends, unusual animals and plants, and 
often the coats of arms of the countries depicted/^'* 

These works were meant almost exclusively for leisure reading and arm- 
chair traveling, not for use as an accurate reference for actual journeys. Two 
of the best known maps that date from the mid- to late fourteenth century 
are the Angelino Dalorto map (1339) and the Catalan Atlas (1375); they are 
also the most firequently mentioned by those who have studied the Conosci- 
miento and its possible sources. However, there were most likely numerous 
portolans and mappaemundi produced in the fourteenth and fifteenth cen- 
turies. Harley and Woodward say that we know of 180 such works dating 
from that era, charts which represent a "minute fraction" of the vast num- 
ber that must have existed.^'' In this time of active land and sea travel 
accomplished by merchants, missionaries, ambassadors, pilgrims, and other 
such travelers, it is evident that each ship — and the total number of vessels 
and journeys over two centuries is incalculable — must have had on board at 
least one portolan chart. It is impossible to pinpoint the exact map of the 
very few remaining that the author of the Conosdmiento consulted when 
composing the work; the data he offers do not match precisely the details 
contained in any one of the extant maps. However, it is possible to deter- 
mine that he used an atlas of the Catalan school, although not specifically 
the famous 1375 version. 

In the late fourteenth century Abraham Cresques and his assistants were 
producing exceptional maps in their workshop on Majorca, and it was one 
of these that Pedro el Ceremonioso of Aragon commissioned as a gift for 
King Charles VI of France. Once housed in the Bibliotheque Royale, this 
exquisitely illuminated map is preserved today in the Bibliotheque Na- 
tionale in Paris. It is usually referred to simply as the Catalan Atlas of 1375. 
While it is the earliest known map that this school produced, one finds it 



''' J. B. Harley and David Woodward, The History of Cartography (Chicago: University of 
Chicago Press, 1987), 2:112. 

^^ Harley and Woodward, The History of Cartography, 2:373. 



INTRODUCTION xxix 



difficult to accept that it is the first such map that they made. Kimble 
considers the Catalan atlas the work of an experienced cartographer capable 
of very accurate descriptions and in possession of excellent drafting tech- 
niques.-^^ Its delineation of the Far East, for example, is the finest of the era 
and is not equalled until the middle of the fifteenth century. Cartographers 
generally agree that there must have existed early fourteenth-century proto- 
types of this map, although their whereabouts are unknown. The 1375 Adas, 
probably based on a portolan chart, was executed splendidly because it was 
intended for the library of a king, and its preservation can be attributed to this 
fact. But it is reasonable to assume that the Majorcan school manufactured 
other, less grand works destined for more practical use and lesser collections, 
and that these examples simply have not survived the centuries. 

There is a number of correspondences between the Catalan Atlas and 
the information contained in the Cotioscimiento that suggests the author's de- 
pendence on a related map; it would be impractical to list them all here. 
Much of the data that the author offers to his readers can be found some- 
where on the Catalan chart. A significant similarity is the relatively accurate 
placement of the Canary Islands and the Azores in the Atlantic, something 
not accomplished by many other documents of this era. Other coincidences 
between the Atlas and the Conoscimiento include the following: most of the 
cities and countries the author mentions, both real and imaginary, and the 
distances between them; many of the legends he writes about (for example, 
Prester John, Gog and Magog); references to earlier explorers (the doomed 
Vivaldi voyage and explorer Jacme Ferrer's ill-fated 1346 expedition to the 
River of Gold); drawings of different sea-going vessels and camels used for 
transportation; mention or sketches of monuments located in certain cities; 
drawings of rulers almost identical to those seen in some copies of the 
Conoscimiento; and colorful depictions of the coats of arms of these lands, 
some of them invented. (The shields are placed over the general location of 
the places they represent, since border delineations were not employed on 
such maps.) There is also a striking similarity in the language used by both 
the book and the atlas. In many of its inscriptions, the Catalan map begins 
the explanation with the word "sepiats" [know], while the author of the 
Conoscimiento often introduces explanatory material with the word "sabet," 
the Castilian equivalent. 

But there are also differences between the Catalan Atlas of 1375 and the 
Lihro del Conoscimiento that indicate that the author could not have relied 
specifically on this map. For example, the book's description of the area 



Kimble, Catalan World Map, 1. 



XXX INTRODUCTION 



south of the River of Gold on the west coast of Africa is not depicted on 
the Catalan map; in fact, all existing maps of Catalan origin end in the south 
at the latitude of this river. -^^ In addition, the narrator's description of Asia 
does not appear to originate from a reading of the Catalan charts. The Cres- 
ques atlases were based probably on information gleaned from Marco Polo's 
writings; the description of these lands in the Conosdmiento does not resem- 
ble either the map or the Italian explorer's book. The anonymous author 
presents his readers with two distinct travel routes that lead to Cathay; this 
persuaded Hyde that he might have been using knowledge circulating 
among merchants of the era, and that some of what he has to say also could 
have been derived from the reports of missionaries who traveled the 
East.-'^ The narrator's account of the Tibe^ns is, according to Markham, 
the earliest European description that exists.-*^ But the author's ignorance 
of the Eastern Mediterranean belies any personal experience there. 

The other map commonly related to the Libro del conosdmiento is the 
Angelino Dalorto work of 1339. Conti Rossini made an excellent compari- 
son of the two more than eighty years ago, and his objective observations 
and conclusions are still valid."*" He notices agreement in the area of Nubia 
and Ethiopia, whose ruler both the book and the map show as Abdeselib, 
a name that does not appear on the Catalan atlas. In addition, the Dalorto 
map legend at Nubia reads, in imperfect Latin: "Iste Rex saracenus habet 
continue guera cum christianos nubie et ethiopie qui sunt sub dominio prest 
lane christianus niger" [This Saracen king is at continuous war with the 
Christians of Nubia and Ethiopia, who are under the rule of Prester John, a 
black Christian]. The map legend refers also to the kingdom of Titimissen 
(Tlemsen). The Conosdmiento offers this similar observation: "[Ljlegue a otro 
rreinado que dizen Tremisin, et confina con el flumen Nilus et sienpre bive 
en guerra con los cristianos de Nubia et de Etiopia" [I arrived in another 
kingdom that they call Tremisin, and it borders on the river Nilus and it 
always lives at war with the Christians of Nubia and of Ethiopia]. There are 
also coincidences between the coats of arms depicted for this area. The 
Dalorto map assigns to Christian Nubia (where Prester John was believed 
to reside) a cross bearing three intersecting arms; the Conosdmiento attributes 
this symbol to Prester John himself Both the map and the narrative display 
the same coat of arms in the cases of the kings of Dongola and Tlemsen. 



•" Kimble, Catalan World Map, 7. 

^* Hyde, "Real and Imaginary Journeys," 145-46. 

•^' Markham, Knowledge, 49, n.3. 

*° Conti Rossini, "II Lihro del Conosdmiento," 656-79. 



INTRODUCTION 



Each also locates Earthly Paradise south of Ethiopia, but the Dalorto map 
shows one river (evidently the Blue Nile) originating in Paradise, while the 
travel book describes four distinct rivers. It should be noted also, however, 
that the Conoscimiento does not make use of all the place-names found on 
this map. Sometimes the author corrects the names or adds others not listed 
by Dalorto. 

Having compared and contrasted the 1339 Dalorto map with the Cono- 
scimiento, Conti Rossini concludes that, despite their similarities, the author 
of the Conoscimiento did not consult the Dalorto map. This opinion is sec- 
onded by others who have studied the possible sources of the travel book, 
and concluded that the Lihro del conoscimiento does not correspond exactly to 
any extant portolan or mappamundi because its author had at hand a work 
no longer available to us. Hyde, however, puts forth a theory which eUmi- 
nates the necessity of such a missing link: "With all its faults the Conosci- 
miento marks a significant step in the drawing together of the world of 
merchants and missionaries and that of literature. . . . [T]he Castilian set out 
to portray the world as it was known in his time, basing his account almost 
entirely on up-to-date information and maps.'"*' This contemporary data, 
as we have previously seen, would have consisted of accounts of missionar- 
ies and merchants, in addition to well-known legends. Could the author of 
the book have used as the basis for his narrative a map or maps, correcting 
and expanding the information according to other more accurate or current 
material he had obtained? This would explain the fact that his description 
does not completely match any known map; but it is, of course, a theory 
which conveniently explains this problem, although it is one that is difficult 
to prove with any certainty. 

What can be surmised firom the comparison between extant cartogra- 
phical works was that the anonymous author of the Lihro del conoscimiento 
had available to him a map similar to but later than the Angelino Dalorto 
work of 1339, a map that more closely resembles the Catalan Atlas of 1375. 
It was probably a work produced by the Catalan school. Whether he en- 
hanced his writing with knowledge obtained fi-om other sources, or wheth- 
er any of the information was updated by later copyists, can only be left to 
conjecture. 



*' Hyde, "Real and Imaginary Journeys," 146. 



xxxn INTRODUCTION 



The Date of Composition 

The anonymous author of the Libro del conosdmiento begins his work 
with a specific reference to his date of birth, 11 September 1305. In the 
course of his narrative he also refers to historical events, foreign rulers, and 
flags of other nations, all of which can can be dated easily. Over the years 
scholars have used these various clues to attempt to determine the book's 
date of composition. Despite the evidence available, it is not sufficient to fix 
a date: reference to a particular historical incident suggests only the earliest 
possible month and year of the text's composition, it cannot indicate the 
latest possible date. Examination of this information and other related facts 
that we are about to consider will help to demonstrate that the Conosd- 
miento was written probably in the last quarter of the fourteenth century, 
sometime after 1378 but before about 1402. 

Scholars who have attempted to date the work often cite the following 
passage, near the beginning of the work, as significant evidence: 

Et de Ponte Vedra vine a una villa que es del rreyno de Castilla, que 
ya conte de suso, que dizen Tarifa, la qual poblo un alarabe muy 
poderoso que dixeron Tarif Et sobre esta villa fue desbaratado et 
ven^ido Alboa^en, rrey de toda tierra del poniente de alien mar, et 
ven^iolo et desbaratolo el muy noble rrey don Alfonso de Castilla, 
et rrobole todos sus rreales et sus thesoros et todas sus mugeres, et 
matole sus cavallerias. 

[And from Ponte Vedra I came to a town which is in the Kingdom 
of Castilla, of which I told above, that they call Tarifa, which a very 
powerful Arab, named Tarif, founded. And near this town Alboacen, 
King of all the western land beyond the sea, was defeated and con- 
quered, and it was the very noble King Don Alfonso de Castilla 
who conquered and defeated him, and stole from him all his military 
camps and his treasures and all his women, and [Alboacen] was 
killed by his knights.] 

This excerpt refers to the defeat of Abu-1-Hasan, King of Morocco, at the 
hands of Alfonso XI in the Battle of Salado in 1348. For this reason Bonnet, 
Pasch and Hyde are quick to conclude that the year 1348 is the work's ter- 
minus post quem.^^ Bonnet and Pasch, therefore settle on a date of compo- 



^^ Bonnet, "Las Canarias," 207; Pasch, "Drapeaux du Lihro del Conosdmiento," 9; Hyde, 
"Real and Imaginary Journeys," 145, n.65. Beazley, The Dawn of Modem Geography, 3:416, 
suggests C.1345; opting for c.1350 are Kimble, Geography, 109, and Joaquin Rubio Tovar, cd., 
Ubros espafioles de viajes medievales (SelecciSn) (Madrid: Taurus, 1986), 63. 



INTRODUCTION 



sition of about 1350, while Hyde extends the possibiHty to 1375, the date 
of the Catalan Atlas which he believes the author used as a reference for 
other facts included in the book. 

Riquer finds another possible date of composition in the 1350s from a 
reference in Conoscimiento: 

Apres de (^erdena es otra isla que dizen Cor^ega. Las seiiales dende 
son un pendon bianco con una cruz bermeja, por que la ganaron los 
ginoveses a los catalanes. Et por eso an oy dia guerra con ellos. 

[After Cerdeiia there is another island they call Corcega. Its insignia 
is a white flag with a vermilion cross, because the Genoese took it 
from the Catalans. And for that reason there is war between them 
today.] 

The first of the Genoese-Catalan battles took place in February, 1352, and 
a truce was signed in March of 1360. 1348 is not therefore, a reasonable 
date for the work; rather, sometime between the 1352 clash and the settle- 
ment eight years later. But there remains one bothersome issue: The critical 
remark "Et por eso an oy dia guerra con ellos" [And for that reason there 
is war between them today] appears in only one manuscript, 5, which dates 
from the latter half of the fifteenth century. This singular occurrence of the 
remark could suggest that it might be a later interpolation made either by 
a fourteenth-century copyist who was responsible for one of the now lost 
exemplars of this era, or a fifteenth-century counterpart, who was perhaps 
seeking to add an historical flourish. Since the existence of this sentence in 
the original text remains questionable, its reference to an ongoing Catalan- 
Genoese conflict cannot be considered reliable. The allusion, therefore, 
should not be used to determine the probable date of the Conoscimiento. 

These examples serve to demonstrate that allusions to datable incidents 
are not sufiicient to determine the date of composition of the Conoscimiento. 
Such references are especially unreliable if the author adopted for his own 
use the numerous pieces of historical information included on the typical 
mappamundi. Because the author of this work evidently did copy this kind 
of material from a map or maps, Peter Russell has challenged justly the idea 
that the Lihro del conoscimiento was created in 1348: the fact of Abu-1-Hasan's 
defeat probably was expropriated from a map which would have recorded 
this information some time after its occurrence, a map which would have 
been finished at least several years before the composition of the travel 
book.'*^ It is feasible therefore that as many as ten years or more could 



*^ Russell, "La heraldica," 691. 



INTRODUCTION 



have passed since the battle, reference to it on a portolan chart or atlas, and 
its inclusion in the Conoscimiento. Russell conjectures that the text was writ- 
ten sometime between 1350 and 1370. 

The author's evident reliance on information taken from cartographical 
works nevertheless provides some significant clues about the date of the 
book's composition. Angelino Dalorto's 1339 map which, as we have seen, 
can be linked to our text, shares several pieces of information with the 
Conoscimiento. While it would be difficult to prove conclusively that the 
anonymous author used the Dalorto map as a reference, it is possible to say 
that the travel book and the map at least had a common source, and that 
they both reflect geographical data — both new discoveries and old wis- 
dom — that was available in about 1339. But that knowledge was not exclu- 
sive to these two works. Another map which contains information similar 
to that found in the Conoscimiento is the so-called Laurentian Atlas (or 
Medici Atlas of the Laurentian Library), begun in 1351. And many scholars 
who have noted similarities between the Conoscimiento and Abraham Cres- 
ques' Catalan Atlas — usually dated 1375 — have assigned the travel book a 
date closer to that year. It is clear that there is no one map that can be iden- 
tified as the definitive source of the book, but it is also true that the dates 
traditionally attached to these maps are questionable as well. Fernandez 
Armesto points out that while the Laurentian Atlas begins with an almanac 
dated 1351, it is probably a collection of folios produced at different times 
by different hands; he believes that one folio might have been appended as 
late as 1385. In addition, the 1375 date typically given to the Catalan Atlas 
seems to be, according to Fernandez Armesto, the year that the work on it 
commenced; the texts that accompany the map also contain the dates 1376 
and 1377. For this reason, and because mapmaker Cresques is known to 
have sent the King of France a similar mappamundi in 1381, the date of the 
Catalan Atlas should probably be revised to the late 1370s or early 1380s.'*'* 
So the lack of proof which might demonstrate the precise cartographical 
source of the Libro del conoscimiento, compounded with the uncertain dates 
of some of the possible map authorities, only serves to cloud further the 
issue of the book's date of composition. 

The description of some of the coats of arms provides other clues about 
the Conoscimiento 's date. The arms of England, for example, are described as: 
"un pendon a quarterones: en los dos quarterones ay flores de oro en canpo 
azul porque es el rrey de la casa de Fran^ia; en los otros dos quartos ay en 
cada uno tres on^as de oro luengas, et el canpo bermejo ..." [a quartered 



^^ Fernandez Armesto, Before Columhus, 159. 



INTRODUCTION 



flag: in two quarters there are gold flowers on a field of blue because the 
king is of the House of Francia; in the other two quarters there are in each 
three long gold lynxes, and the field is vermilion]. Edward III of England 
claimed the French throne in 1340 and began to use this quartered coat of 
arms; in 1406 Henry IV ceased to display this flag. Another example, firom 
MS. R, depicts the flag of Majorca with gold and red vertical bars; that is to 
say, the same as the Aragonese standard. Such correspondence can only be 
the case after October of 1349, when Pedro el Ceremonioso of Aragon de- 
feated Jaime III of Majorca and seized his kingdom, incorporating it into his 
own. But perhaps the most significant coat of arms for the dating of the 
Conoscimiento is the shield of France, depicted with three gold fleurs-de-lis 
on a field of blue. Riquer uses this information to date more precisely the 
book after 1376, when the French began to use this modernized version of 
their flag, which was earlier entirely semy with fleurs-de-lis (i.e., covered 
with more than sixteen such symbols).'*^ 

In an article on the heraldic element of the Ubro del conoscimiento and the 
problem of its date, also published in 1987, Riquer first agrees with Alan 
Deyermond that the book seems to have been written between 1350 and 
1360,^*^ based upon the reference to the Catalan-Genoese struggle of 1352- 
60. But Riquer soon thereafter mentions the book's inclusion of the new 
French arms which date from 1376. He realizes that this poses a contradic- 
tion, which he quickly justifies in a most enigmatic manner: 

El autor debio de viajar durante muchos anos, y aunque no alcanzara 
paises lejanos que describe como si los hubiera visitado, es perfecta- 
mente aceptable que conociera los principales reinos de Europa y las 
islas del Mediterraneo occidental. Los viajes del anonimo franciscano 
debieron de efectuarse en diferentes momentos de su vida, y de cada 
uno de ellos conservaria notas o breves relaciones que iria incorpo- 
rando a su libro, en el que el desorden es patente y los itinerarios muy 
poco convincentes. Pudo estar en Corcega entre 1352 y 1360, y asi 
consigna que entonces habia guerra entre catalanes y genoveses: y 
pudo visitar el reino de Francia despues de 1376, cuando en el blason 
del rey se habia efectuado la reduccion a tres flores de lis. . . . [E]l 
anonimo franciscano, que invirtio tantos anos de vida en viajes, era un 
septuagenario que recogia con ilusion, ingenuidad y malicia sus re- 



*^ Riquer, "La heraldica en el LdC," 318. 

'"' Alan D. Deyermond, A History of Spanish Literature: Tlie Middle Ages (New York: Barnes 
and Noble, 1971), 276. 



INTRODUCTION 



cuerdos, sus fantasias y el eco de sus lecturas sobre paises exoticos y 
maravillosos.'*^ 

[The author must have traveled for many years, and although he 
might not have reached distant lands that he describes as if he had 
seen them, it is perfectly acceptable that he knew the kingdoms of 
Europe and the islands of the western Mediterranean. The trips of 
the anonymous Franciscan must have been made at different mo- 
ments of his life, and firom each one of them he must have con- 
served notes or short accounts that he would go along incorporating 
into his book, in which disorder is patent and the itineraries not 
very convincing. He could have been in Corsica between 1352 and 
1360, and thus records that there was a war at that time between the 
Catalans and the Genoese: and he could have visited the kingdom of 
France after 1376, when the reduction to three fleurs-de-lis had 
been made on the coat of arms of the king. . . . The anonymous 
Franciscan, who invested so many years of his life in travels, was a 
septuagenarian who gathered with joy, ingenuity and malice, his 
memories, his fantasies, and the echo of his readings about exotic 
and marvelous lands.] 

Here, Riquer attempts to explain the obvious problem which arises from 
the incongruity between the author's stated year of birth in 1305 and the 
probable date of composition of his work after 1376, coupled with a seem- 
ingly "contemporary" reference to the Catalan confhct with the Genoese. 
As we have seen earlier in the section, mention of this conflict does not 
unquestionably represent information original to the work. There seem to 
be several possible explanations for the issue of the author's age. First, it is 
not impossible that the author of the Conoscimiento was more than seventy 
years of age when he wrote this book, but it was not a memoir of his actual 
travels. Why would he be reluctant to identify himself at the end of his life, 
when most likely he would have been proud of such accomplishments and 
knowledge? A second possibility is that the date of birth furnished for the 
narrator is simply another fiction created by an author already given to fic- 
tionalizing a medieval world tour; this notion supports the concept that the 
author and the narrator of the text are not meant to be one and the same 
person, as we shall discuss in the section about the authorship of the book. 
The other conceivable solution to the question of the author's age is that 
the description of the French coat of arms is a later interpolation. This is 



■•^ Riquer, "La heraldica en el LdC," 319. 



INTRODUCTION 



especially feasible if the principal appeal of the Conoscimiento in the fifteenth 
century is, as we have previously mentioned, its depiction of the arms of 
Spain and other nations. It would be natural for a proficient preparer of the 
text or copyist to amend what the knowledgeable reader would recognize 
as an error in the flag of a familiar country. 

It is worth noting that when Riquer and Russell pubHshed their articles 
on the use of heraldry and the dating of the Conoscimiento in 1987, they 
were unaware of each other's differing conclusions. In 1993, Riquer wrote 
his "La heraldica en el Libro del conoscimiento por tercera vez," which appro- 
priately appeared in a volume of works in homage to Russell.'*^ In this 
article Riquer states that Russell's arguments have convinced him that the 
author of this book was probably not a Franciscan firiar, but maintains that 
this person indeed did travel to places for first-hand knowledge of heraldic 
devices in use at the time. (Russell contends that the author never under- 
took any of the travels at all.) Riquer concludes that the creator of this text 
began writing it in about 1352-60 and completed the project shortly after 
1376, basing his work mostly on facts he took from various mappaemundi, 
but occasionally on information he gathered in his own journeys. 

Another clue suggesting the work's earliest date of composition can 
found in a seemingly off-hand remark that the author makes about the city 
of Avignon. While he only mentions the place in passing, he identifies it as 
"una fibdat do mora el Papa de Roma" [a city where the Pope of Rome 
resides]. Clement VII moved his court there in 1378. Since all of the manu- 
scripts we have contain this reference, it is probably in the original text and 
not a later insertion. It seems that, in spite of the various opinions concern- 
ing the text's earliest possible date, this brief allusion to the anti-pope's 
residence in Avignon provides the best evidence that the Conoscimiento 
could not have been written before the fall of 1378, when Clement became 
the first anti-pope and the Great Schism of the western Church began. 
Avignon ceased to be the papal residence in 1408. 

So while there is virtually nothing in the text itself which identifies with 
exactitude the year or years of its composition, there is enough evidence to 
set its date of composition within a twenty-four-year span. If we consider 
the reference to the Pope's residence in Avignon as the Conoscimiento' s 
terminus a quo, then the book could not have been composed before late 
1378. Russell judiciously maintains that the only real terminus post quem of 



^'' Alan Deyermond and Jeremy Lawrance, eds., Letters and Society in Fifteenth-Century Spain: 
Studies Presented to P. E. Russell on His Eightieth Birthday (London: Dolphin, 1993), 149-51. 
Curiously, Russell's essay appeared in an homage volume to Riquer. 



XXXVlll INTRODUCTION 



the work is around 1402, when the authors of Le Canarien used it as a 
reference for their own narrative of exploration. Unfortunately, the date of 
this book cannot be determined precisely either. It is nevertheless safe to 
assume that the Conoscimiento was composed in the last quarter of the 
fourteenth century. 



Authorship 

When the authors of Le Canarien described the Libro del conoscimiento de 
todos las reinos they considered its creator a Spanish mendicant friar. This is 
apparently the first time that the author of the Conoscimiento is identified as 
a Franciscan, and most of those who subsequently wrote about the work 
followed this assertion without question. It is not clear, however, how the 
authors of Le Canarien, themselves members of religious orders, arrived at 
the conclusion that the anonymous author of the travel book was a Francis- 
can friar. None of the four extant manuscripts identifies him by profession, 
nor does the author make any comment within the work itself that would 
lead one to conclude that he belonged to a religious community. In fact, 
the narrator of the Conoscimiento only comments about his life at the be- 
ginning of the book, where he mentions that he was bom in Castile during 
the reign of Fernando IV, on 11 September 1305, a year that he identifies 
in terms of the Christian and Hebrew ages, as well as the eras of Nabucho- 
donosor, Alexander the Great, and Caesar, in addition to time passed since 
the Great Flood. As Russell appropriately points out, it is strange that the 
author would define his date of birth in such specific terms but not identify 
himself in any other way; Russell suggests that by revealing his identity the 
author would have revealed also the fictional nature of the Libro del conosci- 
miento, since the author's contemporaries surely would have known that he 
never in reality made the trip he described.'*^ 

Most historians, geographers, and literary critics who have commented 
on the Conoscimiento have not made an issue of its authorship, reiterating 
without question that this person was a Franciscan. The scholar most con- 
vinced of this religious identity is the editor of the 1877 publication of the 
work, Jimenez de la Espada, whose fascination with and belief in the auth- 
enticity of the book led him to make some improbable affirmations about 
both the author and the text. In an attempt to identify positively the pur- 
ported monk who composed the travelogue, Jimenez de la Espada engaged 



'•■' Russell. "La heraldica." 690. 



INTRODUCTION 



the services of a Franciscan historian, who nevertheless did not succeed in 
determining a hkely candidate for the book's authorship. Literary historian 
Morel-Fatio also objected to belief in the truthfulness of the book's asser- 
tions, and could not accept that if the author of this work was really a Fran- 
ciscan, he would not be mentioned somewhere in the many existing bio- 
graphies of Spanish members of this religious order.^" 

In some cases the assumption of a Franciscan identity has pre-determined 
other opinions about certain aspects of the Conoscimiento. Bonnet defends 
the truthfulness of the work in his article, maintaining that the fact that its 
author was a missionary in Africa accounts for how well he knew the parts 
of this continent cited in his narrative.^' Miguel Angel Perez Priego also 
subscribes to the theory of Franciscan authorship, but offers a quite reason- 
able justification for accepting the position that it is possible: "Aunque [el 
autor] no indica expresamente sus propositos, su obra esta inspirada por la 
idea clerical del saber: es un libro del 'conoscimiento de todos los reinos e 
tierras e seiiorios que son por el mundo' y tambien de 'las armas y los 
senores' que los gobieman; es decir, un relato didactico, una compilacion 
geografica con aiiadido de historia politica y heraldica" [Although [the 
author] does not expressly indicate his purposes, his work is inspired by the 
clerical idea of knowledge: it is a book of 'knowledge of all the kingdoms 
and lands and lordships there are in the world' and also of the 'arms and 
lords' that govern them; that is, a didactic account, a geographic compila- 
tion with an addition of political and heraldic history]. ^^ 

There are many reasons for not embracing the hypothesis that the 
author of the Libro del conoscimiento was a Franciscan missionary who trav- 
eled through almost every part of the world known in the mid-fourteenth 
century and subsequently wrote about his numerous stopovers. One good 
reason to challenge this assumption is simply the lack of textual evidence 
that upholds the theory. As we have seen, the author makes no disclosures 
concerning his particular vocation, either by straightforward statement or by 
implication, nor does he communicate to the reader the purpose of his 
travel. He mentions merchants but never counts himself among them; he 
refers to pagan persons he saw but does not express a desire to convert 
them; he recalls the exploits of early explorers but apparently is not seeking 
uncharted lands himself. Neither does he refer to making a pilgrimage. The 



^" Morel-Fatio, review o( Andanfos e viajes, 138. 
'"' Bonnet, "Las Canarias," 211. 

^^ Miguel Angel Perez Ptiego, "Estudio literario de los libros de viajes medievales," Epos 1 
(1984): 234. 



:1 INTRODUCTION 



withholding of such details of identity and purpose seems, as Russell has 
said, an intentional omission designed to conceal the author's identity. 

We have examined already external evidence in two of the manuscripts 
which suggests that the author probably was not a member of a religious 
order, since the male figures depicted in the illuminations found in these 
codices are patently secular figures. Had he been a Franciscan, this informa- 
tion likely would have been known to the fifteenth-century copyists, who 
would surely have provided miniature portraits detailing his vocation, not 
a gentleman in court clothing. 

Russell also doubts that the author was a Franciscan, basing his argument 
in part on the lack of religious references made throughout the work.^-* The 
fact is that the traveler makes very few allusions to things religious, and 
usually confines his comments to whether the peoples encountered were 
Christian or not. On the Island of Gropis (ofi'the west coast of Afiica), for 
example, he observes that it was a land abundant in all things, but the people 
were idolaters. But he says nothing fijrther about this practice, which makes 
one wonder if a Franciscan missionary would make such an unsubstantial 
remark about this aberration. It does not seem likely that one whose vocation 
it was to convert non-believers would take such little interest in pagan 
activity, dismissing it with a superficial mention. Further doubt can be cast on 
the author's alleged profession by the fact that he visits neither churches (save 
Saint Sophia, in Constantinople, whose description he limits to its beauty and 
exact exterior dimensions) nor other holy landmarks: no stop is made in the 
Holy Land or any other place of religious significance. While enumerating 
places in France, the author only casually mentions that the Pope resides in 
Avignon. It is a lack of concern for religious matters that provokes doubt in 
the reader of a supposed "Franciscan" work. 

And what interest might a Franciscan have had in the coats of arms of 
the cities and nations named in this book? The heraldic component, which 
signifies the worldly might and possessions of a ruler, would seem incongru- 
ous in a work written by one who should be more impressed with the 
might of God and the kingdom to come. That such a great portion of the 
book is allocated to heraldry which, in fact, gives structure to the narrative, 
is difficult to explain in a work presumably written by a missionary. 

These observations make it hard to believe that a Franciscan could have 
written the Libro del conoscimiento. However, we are confronted still with the 
fact that in Le Canarien, written approximately twenty-five years after the 



" Russell, "La heraldica," 690. 



INTRODUCTION xli 



Conoscimiento was composed, the author of the Conoscimiento is referred to 
as a mendicant friar. The authors of this book on French exploration were 
working from a manuscript older than any we know today (the four extant 
copies date from about the mid-fifteenth century). Might an earlier copy, 
now lost, have mentioned his religious vocation? Did they arrive at this 
conclusion themselves because of their own knowledge of Franciscan mis- 
sions in the north of Afiica or their travels in conjunction with their mis- 
sionary work? Existing accounts of such missionary travels, however, are 
rarely anonymous, as Franciscans were meticulous recorders of their works 
and voyages to missions in Asia and Afiica. ^"^ 

There is no doubt, however, that the author of the Conoscimiento was a 
person of considerable culture. He was familiar enough with a number of 
things historical and legendary to be able to integrate them into his text. As 
we will see later, the structure of his narrative seems to indicate that he had 
probably read or was otherwise acquainted with other medieval travel 
books, to whose general organization he appears to adhere. He had access 
to and could manage in a fundamental way a mappamundi of the era. He 
also had some basic knowledge of contemporary exploration and merchant 
commerce, even if only from the map or maps he consulted. But his evi- 
dent interest in and comprehension of the heraldic convention is what most 
attracts our attention, details to be examined below. 

What if the Libro del conoscimiento had been written by a herald? We 
have already proposed that the fifteenth-century audience was not interested 
in this book for its "travel" aspects (many of which were found to be erro- 
neous by explorations that took place not long after the book was written), 
but for its illustration of more than 100 coats of arms of cities and nations. 
Is it not possible that a herald or an apprentice to this post (called perseruante 
in Spain) might compile a roll of arms of the lands of the known world, 
using a travel itinerary as a pretext? Such a person certainly could have 
made at least part of the journey himself the profession of herald (which 
finally became defined in the fourteenth century) required a knowledge of 
reading and writing, as well as a rudimentary ability in other languages, 
since travel was a necessary aspect of this work. According to Richard 
Wagner in his Heralds and Heraldry in the Middle Ages, "[M]any heralds led 
a wandering life from court to court and even from country to country, 
mingling always in what may be called chivalric circles; so that their oppor- 



^* Russell, "The Infante Dom Henrique," 264. 



xlii INTRODUCTION 



tunities for both collecting and spreading news of feats of arms and those 
who performed them would be ample. "''^ 

The existence of professional heralds in Castile in the mid-fourteenth 
century is difficult to demonstrate with any certainty. For example, there 
was no herald listed as a member of Pedro I el Cruel's household,''^ yet 
the chronicle of his reign clearly states that the king made use of heraldic 
devices on the flags and banners which accompanied him to the field of 
battle. ^^ But even if there was no designated herald or king of arms, some- 
one must have been responsible for this task. Heraldic symbols came into 
use in Spain at the end of the twelfth century when Alfonso VIII of Castile 
put the castle on his shield.^** Edward, Prince of Wales (the so-called Black 
Prince) brought a herald with him to Spain when he came to support Pedro 
I in the struggles against his half-brother, Enrique de Trastamara. In fact, 
this herald was also entrusted with the task of messenger (a secondary and 
later common duty of the office) between the two camps, and was reward- 
ed with expensive garments for his services. ^^ Heralds from Spanish king- 
doms also have been mentioned in other fourteenth-century works: there 
is reference in a French chronicle that in 1366 the heralds of Aragon and 
Navarre were in Brussels on the occasion of a tournament organized by the 
Duchess of Brabant. ''^' Their identity is uncertain, however. The first her- 
ald to be baptized "Aragon" was Jean de Bar, in 1387; Martin Carbonel was 
named "Navarra" in 1369.^'' Both men may have practiced the office of 
heraldry prior to their official appointment. The first documentation of her- 
alds in Castile has a late date (1429, in Juan II's chronicle) but the occupa- 
tion might certainly have existed well before then, especially since it was 



'''' Richard Wagner, Heralds and Heraldry in the Middle Ages (London: Oxford University 
Press, 1946), 28. 

^^ Luis Vicente Diaz Martin, Los Oficiales de Pedro I de Castilla (Valladolid: Universidad de 
Valladolid, 1987). 

^^ Pero Lopez de Ayala, Cronica del rey don Pedro, eds. Constance L. Wilkins and Heanon M. 
Wilkins (Madison: Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1985), 162. 

■'''' Martin de Riquer, Heraldica caslellana en tiempos de las Reyes Catolicos (Barcelona: Biblioteca 
Filologica, Quaderns Crema, 1986), 16. 

^' Lopez de Ayala, Cronica, 163; also Chandos Herald, Life of the Black Prince, ed. Milfred K. 
Pope (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1910), 155, 160; and Alfonso de CebaUos-Escalera y Gila, 
Heraldos y reyes de armas en la corte de Espana (Madrid: Coleccion El Peneverante Bor^iia, 1993), 
76-77. 

«' Wagner, Heralds, 34. 

'"' Upon being named, heralds or kings of arms were usually baptized with the name of the 
kingdom or other some such designation, and henceforth were referred to with that name. Thus 
in Spain there were heralds called Castilla, Aragon, Navarra, Gerona, Trastamara, Catalufia, Val- 
encia, etc. See Riquer, Heraldica castellana, 364-67. 



INTRODUCTION xliii 



common in the other two Spanish kingdoms and in Portugal at least sixty 
years before this time. 

The anonymous author of the Libro del conoscimiento would have had at 
his disposal a limited but sufficient number of sources from which to copy 
heraldic shields. The typical portolan chart or mappamundi provided the 
coat of arms of a country or state in its general area on the map, but no 
extant map displays nearly as many such shields as our book does, which 
suggests, of course, that more than one source was employed in its manu- 
facture. Other than geographical charts, there were few works that the 
author could have consulted. Rolls of arms existed in fourteenth-century 
England, Belgium, and Navarre, but these consisted mostly of the arms of 
rulers and nobles of each of those countries. The Parliament Roll of Eng- 
land, for example, was compiled in about 1312 and contains about 1100 
banners of knights and noblemen. The herald of the Duke of Gelderland, 
named Gelre, produced between 1369 and 1400 an armorial of more than 
1800 shields in which most of the countries of Europe were represented. 
The above mentioned herald Navarre (at the service of the kingdom's 
French ruler, Charles II) was responsible for the creation of an armorial of 
more than 1200 coats of arms, of which only fifteen belong to foreign sov- 
ereigns, with the remainder French.^'^ Whether or not the author of the 
Conoscimiento had any of these works within reach is doubtflil. Spanish rolls 
of arms do not begin to appear until the fifteenth century. 

Russell notices that the use of heraldic language in the Conoscimiento is 
Umited to only the most essential vocabulary/'^ in other words, the author 
employed common lay language when describing the colors, shapes, and 
illustrations on the coats of arms he had included. But this does not neces- 
sarily beUe his possible identity as a herald, professional or otherwise. Other 
known masters of heraldry also have made use of everyday language in their 
descriptions of arms. A good example is the Castilian herald Garci Alonso 
de Torres, who composed his Blason de annas [Depiction of Arms] sometime 
between 1476 and 1496. Despite his familiarity with established heraldic 
terminology for the colors of arms, he often wrote uerde [green] instead of 
sinopla [vert], amarillo [yellow] rather than oro [or], negro [black] for sable, and 
Colorado [red-colored] or bermejo [vermillion] for gulas [gules].''"* The author 
of the Conoscimiento also uses the common names for colors, at times 
interchanging them with the accepted terms. He applies a number of official 



" Wagner, Heralds, 52-53. 
<•' Russell, "La heraldica," 693. 
^ Riquer, Heraldica castellana, 72. 



:liv INTRODUCTION 



heraldic terms in his descriptions as well, which we shall consider later. 

It is not impossible then, that the unknown author of the Libra del 
conosdmiento was a herald or at least a member of the court entrusted with 
the responsibility of this profession. He certainly possesses the required 
knowledge and culture that the position demands. And a person attached to 
the court would have access to the kinds of works he seems to have con- 
sulted in the compilation of the book: additional travel books, maps, historical 
treatises and other such texts. 

The identity of the curious person who wrote the Conosdmiento proba- 
bly w^ill never be known, and evidently the author assured his own ano- 
nymity by his studied omission of remarks about his own person. His 
apparent desire to remain unnamed further confirms the fictional nature of 
his book. He is the author but not the narrator of the tale. He has created 
a pose, that of a traveler through the known world, as a means of offering 
his audience a description of places they would never go, and of people 
they would never see. This proposition is, of course, the principal purpose 
of medieval travel literature, factual or fictional. This particular voyage, it 
seems, amounts to a medieval joy-ride for the purpose of armchair tourism. 



The Heraldic Component 

The depiction of the coats of arms of rulers, states, and nations is a sig- 
nificant aspect of the Lihro del conosdmiento, if not the most important feature 
of the work. After a brief account of his arrival in a place and any interest- 
ing characteristics of the region, its people, or curiosities, the author inevita- 
bly includes a blazon (written description) of the territory's heraldic arms, 
which usually also appears as a painted or sketched shield in the body of the 
text. As we have mentioned previously, the heraldic component of the 
Conosdmiento may account for its continued popularity into the fifteenth cen- 
tury, when the book's geographical information was known to have been 
largely misleading or entirely erroneous. It is in the 1400s that the Spanish 
reading public began to take a keen interest in the discipline of heraldry, as 
the growing number of works dealing with its norms and depicting Spanish 
arms attests. The Conosdmiento certainly can be considered one of these 
works for, as Riquer points out, the work is an authentic book of blazoned 
and illustrated arms, which gives it singular importance in the history of 
Spanish heraldry.^^ 



Riquer, "La heraldica en el LdC," 313. 



INTRODUCTION xlv 



The use of heraldic devices first appeared in Europe at the end of the 
eleventh century, and became firmly established by the middle of the next 
century.^^ Emblems were essentially a means of identifying and distin- 
guishing persons; the need to use them for this purpose came about as a 
result of tournaments, where knights were heavily armored from head to 
foot and the public could not discover them easily. Therefore the partici- 
pants put on their shields a symbol that could be associated with them; 
banners with the same emblems were flown when they jousted, and heralds 
were put in charge of documenting this aspect of the proceedings. When 
the practice became widespread, it became necessary to systematize and 
normalize the depiction of coats of arms. The norms included heraldic 
colors (azure, gules, vert, purpure, and sable) and metals (argent and or), geo- 
metric shapes called ordinaries (crosses, stripes or bands displayed at various 
angles, each with its own name), and other articles (called figures), which 
included a wide range of motifs such as animals or humans both real or fan- 
tastic, natural objects such as plants or flowers, or inanimate objects such as 
castles, cups, or keys. By the end of the twelfth century, most European 
heraldry conformed to these standards as well as to other instituted norms, 
such as avoiding the juxtaposition of metal and metal, or color and color. 

Although heraldry was bom in a milieu of combat, soon it was adopted 
by those who did not participate in tournaments. Within one hundred years 
the use of heraldic devices was taken up not only by kings and seignorial 
families, but by members of the bourgeoisie and even landed peasants. By 
the fourteenth century, cartographers began to use coats of arms on porto- 
lans and mappaemundi as a way of identifying kingdoms and states, since 
they did not ordinarily delineate the interior boundaries of these territories; 
they simply placed the flag associated with the region over its general area 
on the map.^'^ But the design of these flags was by no means standard, and 
the selection of flags depicted on the maps also varied widely. At times the 
arms were invented by the mapmakers; sometimes the arms shown were 
incorrect or simply out of date because of the constant poUtical turmoil in 
the Middle Ages. These inaccuracies make the flags on medieval maps an 
undependable source of historical data, as well as an unreHable method to 
date the maps on which they appear. As we have seen in the section on the 
Conoscimiento's sources, its author probably referred to one or more mappae- 



** There are a number of good books on heraldry. Refer to Riquer, Wagner, and Wood- 
cock in the Bibliography. 

" Sec Harley and Woodward, History of Cartography, 1:399-401 on the use of flags on maps. 



xlvi INTRODUCTION 



mundi and doubdess copied some of the coats of arms he described from 
these maps. 

The four extant manuscripts of the Libro del conosdmiento each contain 
numerous coats of arms either completely painted or sketched. Nofiers the 
highest number, with 110 heraldic arms (plus eleven miniatures of people, 
things, or places supposedly encountered on the journey); S follows with 
108 arms plus nine spaces intended for shields but left blank (and no other 
miniatures); R has 106 coats of arms, with blank spaces for sixteen more (as 
well as twelve other completed miniatures); Z, the most incomplete of the 
four codices, has ninety-eight flags of nations and rulers (plus eleven minia- 
tures).^^ It would be impractical and unnecessary to explain all of these coats 
of arms;^^ nevertheless, we shall refer to a few interesting examples. 

In his study of these heraldic shields of N, R, and S, Pasch concluded 
that the artists who painted or drew the arms apparently worked indepen- 
dently from one another, providing miniatures created on the basis of the 
author's description of the shields in his text.^" In this way Pasch accounts 
for the variation that occurs among the manuscripts. For his study he refers 
only to the flags provided in Markham's English translation; had he seen the 
original codices, Pasch would have noticed that, although there are occa- 
sionally difierences in the depictions of the arms, R and AT often agree with 
each other and difrer from S. This reinforces our conclusion that R and N 
originated in the same or similar source, and that S had a distinctly difierent 
origin. Now that Z is available, it is possible to see that the arms that appear 
in it resemble those in R and N, which also suggests a similar source for all 
three codices. Take, for example, the arms of Navarre: in S the chains asso- 
ciated with the kingdom divide the shield into eight diagonally prescribed 
segments (gyronny); R and iV depict the chains horizontally across the field, 
and above them are added three fleurs-de-lis not found in 5 (a possible 



""^ Pasch, "Drapeaux du Libro del Cotioscimiento," lists, describes, and provides sketches of 110 
coats of arms, using the drawings in Markham's translation as his source. Markham, Knowledge, 
does not explain his criteria for selecting shields from the three manuscripts known to him, 
although he does identify the source of each coat of arms with an S, R, or N. Most of them he 
reproduces from S, but provides only eighty-nine of its 108 flags. He adds to this twenty-three 
from N and only seven from R, either to complete the set with flags missing from S or to show 
the variations that occur in the other two codices. Pasch, who obviously did not have access to 
any of the manuscripts, assumes that each has only the number of arms credited to it in 
Markham's work, well below the real number contained in each of them. 

'"' See Pasch, "Drapeaux du Libro del Conosdmiento," and Riquer, "La heraldica en el LdC " 
and Heraldica castellana for more specific information. 

'" Pasch, "Drapeaux du Ubro del Conosdmiento," 9. 



INTRODUCTION xlvii 



allusion to the kings of France-Navarre) 7' Similarly, 5 shows the arms of 
Narbonne with a cross bottony in the center (each end of the cross ending 
in a clover-like figure), with four arrow-like shapes inside each quarter so 
formed; N, R, and Z all depict the field quartered by a plain cross, with a 
triangular shape in each quarter. Other comparative examples frequently 
give the same results, that is, that the shields appearing in 5 differ in an im- 
portant way from those of the other three witnesses. There are, of course, 
errors such as mistaken attribution (in N, for example, the arms of Barcelo- 
na are shown for Toulouse), generally caused by an oversight on the part of 
the artist. 

In addition to copying heraldic arms firom another source or sources, the 
anonymous author of the Conoscimiento also invented devices for nations and 
rulers that did not really exist. But his doing so did not make him or his 
work unique in the fourteenth century, since imaginary heraldry was a com- 
monplace in the Middle Ages, having begun about the same time as real 
heraldry was being standardized, in the mid-twelfth century.^^ Literary texts, 
tapestries, and paintings have all depicted the invented arms of non-existent 
persons and places, as well as the arms of people who lived before heraldry 
was created. Heraldic emblems have been created for such figures as Moses, 
Adam, Attila the Hun, Jupiter, Mars, King Arthur and his knights, Christ, the 
Devil, and Prester John (these last arms appear in the Conoscimiento), as well 
as for numerous fantastic kingdoms, countries, and institutions. Many of these 
fanciful arms later found their way into real armorials, such as Hierosme de 
Bara's 1579 work entided Blason de armoires [Depiction ofArms]?^ The inven- 
tors of these shields generally conformed to the norms followed by heralds 
with respect to use of color, metals, and charges, but some (probably less 
familiar with heraldry than anxious to imitate it) committed errors in color or 
placement of figures. Besides the invention of arms for fictional persons or 
places, there existed the practice of creating one's own arms: a 1379 book on 
heraldic law confirms the legitimacy of designing one's own arms, as long as 
one did not expropriate those of another person or family not related. 

When he invented arms for persons or places unknown to him, the 
author of the Conoscimiento usually followed accepted heraldic standards. Ex- 
cept for an error he made describing a Majorcan flag which probably never 



'' Unfortunately the miniature in Z has been intentionally darkened, making it impossible 
to see what might have been painted there. 

^^ Michel Pastoureau, "L'heraldique imaginaire," Perpectives medicvaks 10 (1984): 98—102. 
^■' Riquer, Herdldica castellana, 33. 



:lviii INTRODUCTION 



existed (juxtaposing the colors green and black^'*), the author seems to be 
well acquainted with the approved norms and applied them appropriately. 
As Russell has pointed out, the unidentified author seemed to think that the 
rulers of unfamiliar Asian and African countries used heraldic devices in the 
same way that Christian and Moslems rulers did7^ The use of heraldry was 
probably so widespread that he must have assumed that all nations had arms, 
and set out to invent some for those with which he was unfamiliar. Know- 
ing that heraldic charges were frequently symbols associated with a particu- 
lar country, the author provided a flag with a pagan idol for an Afhcan 
nation he claimed was filled with idolaters; on the shield of another Afhcan 
realm of warm climate he placed palm trees. We must recall here that it was 
the credible description of these African arms that led the Bethencourt ex- 
pedition to believe that the "mendicant friar" actually had reached these re- 
mote places and made them confident that they could duplicate his journey. 

Another indication that the anonymous author was informed about 
heraldry is his frequent reference to the historical or other reasons for the 
pictorial aspect of arms. He tells the reader, for example, that Corsica's flag 
resembles that of Genoa "because the Genoese took it from the Catalans." 
This kind of information was not ordinarily found on portolans or mappae- 
mundi, so even if he copied the physical attributes of the shield from such 
a source, he was aware that historical circumstances could determine its ap- 
pearance and knew what those circumstances were. There are several such 
examples in Conoscimiento, regarding both real and imaginary realms. The 
author informs us that the flag of Naples displays fleurs-de-lis because its 
king belongs to the House of France, and with the same seriousness tells us 
that Nubia bears the arms of Prester John because he rules the area. 

The unknown author of the Conoscimiento takes great care to make the 
blazoned arms of his work creditable. Where he describes coats of arms of 
real places, he is generally accurate and contemporary. (We must remember 
that the appearance of the French flag with only three fleurs-de-lis led Ri- 
quer to date the work after 1376, when these arms came into use.) Where 
he concocts the purported shields of realms and rulers unfamiliar to him, 
the author avails himself of standard heraldic norms and creates arms based 
on plausible premises. As we have said elsewhere, the journey attached to 
the text seems to be a pretext for the author's real intention, that is, to 
provide an armorial of all the places that appeared on contemporary carto- 
graphical works. 



''^ Riquer, "La heraldica en el LdC," 315. 
"^^ Russell, "La heraldica," 694. 



INTRODUCTION xli: 



The Libro del conoscimiento as Travel Literature 

In the late eleventh century the First Crusade took fighting men, both 
knights and peasants, to the Holy Land. Those that returned did so with 
tales of their travels, stories of places they visited and people they met, foods 
they ate, and the hardships and dangers of the road. Some of the tales were 
embellished with yams about miracles and fantastic creatures, humans and 
plants, fictitious things that were the essence of medieval legends. Medieval 
men and women were more willing to believe such fanciful stories because, 
unlike ourselves, they were not suspicious about things that they had not 
experienced first-hand. Some of these stories, which dated from antiquity, 
were conveyed as if they were fact. Therefore, medieval people believed in 
the existence of men without necks or with dog faces, birds that grew from 
buds on trees, ants who mined gold, and a wealth of other such lore. 
Because they did not distinguish between the "scientific" and the fictitious, 
the people of the Middle Ages were the ideal audience for books about 
travel to far-off places which they would never see; they longed for these 
exotic places to be filled with equally exotic things, unlike the familiar 
people and circumstances of their own lives. The authors of travel books 
were pleased to oblige their public, embroidering accounts of real (or some- 
times fictitious) journeys with anecdotes about legendary cities or monsters 
that they supposedly encountered or heard about during their journeys. In 
this way they could satisfy the requirements of different reading publics, 
from the merely curious to those — such as prospective pilgrims, merchants, 
ambassadors, or explorers — who sought factual information about what to 
expect along the routes they planned to follow. 

Beginning in the late thirteenth century, travel literature enjoyed a 
growing popularity. This coincided with authentic journeys of various kinds 
of people. In the mid- 1200s, Franciscan missionaries concentrated their 
religious efforts in Mongol territory around the Volga River and in China. 
They are the first European travelers about which we have information, and 
the first to trek on land across Asia. John of Pian de Carpine, a Franciscan 
from Cologne, made the initial trip to the land of the Great Khan in 1245, 
returning home two years later. In 1251 or 1253, William of Rubruck, a 
friar from French Flanders, carried letters from King Louis to the Great 
Khan in Karakorum. Upon his return in 1254 or 1255 he wrote a detailed 
account of his journey. Dominican missionary groups also established them- 
selves in other parts of Asia, India, Iran, and the central region of the 
continent. Later in the same century Marco Polo spent more than twenty 
years traveling throughout the Mongolian empire, China, and parts of 
Southeast Asia; the narrative of his adventures, entitled H Milione, was a 



1 INTRODUCTION 



work widely read not only during his lifetime, but for centuries thereafter, 
and it was translated into many languages.^'' 

It is because of the curiosity of these travelers, both missionaries and 
merchants, that today we have an excellent idea of the medieval European 
perception of Asia. Not all those who made such voyages at that time were 
European. An important exception is the Islamic scholar, Ibn Battuta, who 
between 1325 and 1354 journeyed to virtually all the lands known to Mos- 
lem merchants in the fourteenth century. In Asia he journeyed all the way 
to Canton, and in Africa, to the Niger River. While his writings about this 
voyage are a valuable source of information to modem scholars, unfor- 
tunately his book was unknown to Europeans of the Middle Ages.^^ 

During this period, these travelers had in common the desire to leave a 
written account of their experiences in distant lands, regardless of the inten- 
tion of the finished work, which could range firom serving as a travel guide, 
to promoting the work of the missions, or simply serving as a tool for dis- 
seminating knowledge. Most of those who wrote these books were not 
authors by profession, which the deficiency of their literary style often dem- 
onstrates. What reveals itself instead is an enthusiasm to relate their adven- 
tures against a backdrop of cities, mountains, seas, and other natural or man- 
made phenomena. 

The narrator of the typical medieval travel book usually has a strong lit- 
erary presence. He ordinarily identifies himself by name. The purpose of his 
journey (commerce, exploration, embassy, religious conversion, or pilgrim- 
age) is made clear from the outset. Because he recounts personal experienc- 
es, the author customarily writes in the first person, a style that also draws 
the reader closer to the text, giving them a sense of participation. It was not 
only the itinerary of the trip that was of interest to the reader, but also the 
day-to-day experiences, observations, and conditions which the traveler 
underwent en route to his destination that held fascination. Most travel 
books contain comments on the various hardships that the joumeyers had 
to endure. The narrators constantly complain of cold or heat and inadequate 
clothing to endure the climate; and transportation problems, including the 
fatigue that came from travel on foot or horseback. The travelers frequently 
refer to the accommodations they enjoyed or endured, as well as the quality 
of the food they ate at inns or monasteries. Both hunger and thirst are 



''' There are a number of informative books on medieval travel. See, for example, Labarge, 
Ladero, Newton, and Ohler in the Bibliography. 

'' Ibn Battuta, Trauels, A.D. 1325-54 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958). 



INTRODUCTION li 



recurrent topics in these stories. The perils of the road, such as thieves or 
poor treatment by those they met along the way, is also a recurring theme 
in this literature, as is the inherent danger of the transportation itself, espe- 
cially if by sea. There are tales of treacherous waters and near disasters, as 
well as illnesses that could befall travelers on long sea voyages. Some authors 
mention their traveling companions by name; or mention only those closest 
to them, and some mention no names at all. Once the traveling party 
arrived at a town or city, there could arise the problem of language and 
the consequent misunderstandings between the Europeans and the native 
people. The confusion and its results are typically explained in some detail. 

A general characteristic of the medieval travel book is the personal ac- 
count including ordeals endured and pleasant experiences enjoyed, de- 
scribed against an interesting geographical setting. In fact, the geographical 
data are relegated regularly to second place in significance, the most impor- 
tant component being the human element, the personal anecdote, the 
adventure. It is the almost total deficiency of these distinguishing attributes 
that sets the Libro del conoscimiento apart from other travel literature of this 
period. Although written as a first-person account, the work lacks the kind 
of personal remarks made in other books. The author makes no mention of 
traveling conditions, weather, accommodations, food, sickness or other prob- 
lems or pleasures of the journey. Instead, he emphasizes the names of the 
places he claims to have visited and almost never fails to describe the coats of 
arms of the rulers of these distant lands. Despite these deficiencies, the narra- 
tor provides an identifiable structure and exhibits a certain style of his own, 
if a rather unadorned and often tedious one. 

The purported itinerary forms the backbone of the Conoscimiento: the 
book offers a linear and chronological narrative of the places along the sup- 
posed route that the narrator followed. Most of the cities are enumerated in 
rapid succession, giving the reader the impression that they were merely 
passed by and not visited as the author would have us believe, or even copied 
firom a map, as was probably the case. But he does follow an accepted and 
traditional composition in the narrative, conforming at least in a superficial 
way to a set of characteristics instituted in antiquity. Miguel Angel Perez 
Priego provides an excellent summary of these established elements in his 
study of literary travel books. ^** The first of these aspects is, of course, the 
itinerary of the journey, which occupies the entire account from beginning 
to conclusion because the book ends when the voyage is over. The second 
characteristic is its chronological order which conforms most strictly in the 



Perez Priego, "Estudio literario," 217-39. 



lii INTRODUCTION 



more objective and truthful works and least rigorous in the more ficticious 
accounts/'^ The Conoscimiento adheres assiduously to the latter, as its narra- 
tor prefers to avoid definite reference to time spent in any pursuit. Some 
examples of his imprecise allusions are the following: 

"[E]t andudo aqueUa nao por alta mar tanto tienpo que Uegamos a 
una isla que dizen Eterus." [And that ship traveled the high seas for 
so long a time that we arrived at an island they call Eterus.] 

"Et parti de Alcaara et fuy me para Damieta et falle una nao de cris- 
tianos et entre en ella. Et andude un tienpo en esta nao fasta que 
descargaron en la fibdat de Qepta. . . . [E]t fuyme para Gazula, et 
more ay un tienpo." [And I left Alcaara and went to Damieta and I 
found a ship of Christians and entered it. And I traveled a time in 
this ship until they unloaded in the city of Qepta. . . . And I went to 
Gazula, and lived there for a time.] 

The narrator almost never gives explicit information about the number of 
days, weeks, or months he either traveled to or remained in a particular 
place, in part because he apparently had little idea of the time required to 
cover the ground about which he was writing. Already we have seen that 
probably it would have taken over twenty years to actually make the jour- 
ney he describes, without taking into account the time he claims to have 
spent living in various cities, as he declares he did on eleven occasions. 

Another established feature of travel books is the organization of the de- 
scription of cities, the de laudibus urhium. The conventional structure in- 
cludes information on the antiquity of the city in question, its geographical 
location, the fertility of its lands, the customs of its people, the buildings 
and monuments of note, and its celebrated men. In some such works the 
author breaks the rhythm of his narrative to expound at length on an un- 
usually interesting aspect of a city. In the Conoscimiento, however, this kind 
of information generally is offered in a rather perfunctory manner, and there 
is never more than a paragraph's notice about any given place. The author 
uses repetitive and uninspired language to describe the sites according to the 
traditional requirements.Virtually all of his descriptions mention the regions' 
lands, and virtually all are depicted with the same adjectives: the land under 
consideration is always cold, temperate or hot, populated or unpopulated, 
large or small, abundant or barren. In one instance, the area is deemed dan- 
gerous, though for unstated reasons; in another, a city is delightful for 



Perez Priego, "Estudio literario," 223—24. 



INTRODUCTION Hi: 



equally unmentioned reasons. The choice of words is standardized and im- 
personal, and probably originated in the legends of the map the author con- 
sulted, where such comments could be found. He sometimes furnishes 
other information about the places of which he writes, but again the data 
are kept to a minimum and can be consulted on the typical mappamundi. 
He knows, for example, that the Pope was residing in Avignon at the time, 
that the Magi were said to be buried in Cologne, that Rome was the head 
of the Roman Empire, that Fez was the seat of the Benimerin, and so forth. 
He largely ignores monuments, with the exception of the church of Saint 
Sophia in Constantinople, and his description of it closely resembles its pic- 
torial appearance on representative maps of the era. 

While many authors of medieval travel books dwell on the figure, 
clothing, and customs of the people they come across, the narrator of the 
Conoscimiento has little to say about the men and women of foreign places. 
Like his remarks about the condition of the lands, his comments are usually 
limited to a few words about their physical attributes, their intelligence, or 
their religion. This last element is what he mentions most, and his typical 
observations have to do with whether or not they are Christians: he calls 
some schismatic Christians, others are not Catholic Christians, or are Greek 
Christians; non-Christians are usually referred to as idolatrous, or "people 
without religion who keep no commandments." The narrator, however, 
never expands his comments or includes further details about their religious 
practices. He makes a cursory reference to their appearance: some are de- 
scribed simply as beautiful, others simply as black. Unlike many other travel 
writers of the era, he takes no interest whatsoever in the people's clothing 
or lack thereof He describes some of them only as cruel or vile, but he 
offers no explanation of the behavior that merits these epithets. Most of the 
people that the narrator encounters are simple-minded, but the Persians as 
well as the inhabitants of parts of India are said to be wise, again without 
explanation. The quality and quantity of the narrator's observations about 
people he met on his journey do little to convince the reader that he speaks 
firom experience, compared to the abundance of particulars offered by his 
literary counterparts. 

Travel literature of this period does not lack the fantastic element, espe- 
cially in certain legends which had great impact on people, such as the exis- 
tence of Prester John. These personages, together with fabulous humans, 
animals, and plants, also appeared in medieval scientific encyclopedias such 
as lapidaries or bestiaries and St. Isidore's Etymolo^iae. The stories of these 
extraordinary creatures and phenomena, the mirabilia, came to the Middle 
Ages firom the works of Solinus, Pliny, Aristotle, and other ancient authors 



liv INTRODUCTION 



who first alluded to them. The Libro del conoscimiento also has its share of 
such fantastical beings: there are the cynocephali (barking men who have 
dogs' heads and feet); the antipodeans (people who occupy the opposite end 
of the globe, known as the torrid zone, and are therefore black from sun- 
bum); birds on the island of "Hibernia" that grow from well-watered trees, 
and are delicious either boiled or roasted; griffins on the island of Java; and 
on the River of Gold there were supposedly ants as big as cats that would 
unearth gold nuggets as they built their anthills. 

The narrator of the Conoscimiento does know something of the more 
objectively scientific ideas of the period, for he refers at different moments 
to astronomy and climate. As we have seen in the section on the identity of 
the author, he begins the narrative with an explicit account of his date of 
birth, counting out the years in terms of the Hebrew, Christian, Islamic, 
and other calendars. He is aware that in the northern latitudes there are six 
months of daylight and six of night. He mentions the seven climates four 
times, a concept which came to medieval men through Macrobius, and 
appeared in the works of the Venerable Bede (eighth century) and Albertus 
Magnus and Roger Bacon (both of the thirteenth century). The narrator 
writes several times about astronomy, and informs the reader that it was 
discovered in Persia. But other than the reckoning of his birth date accord- 
ing to the ages of man, any of these scientific terms usually could be found 
on a mappamundi, so we cannot credit our author with either being knowl- 
edgeable enough about these matters to write of them, or consulting works 
more learned than a contemporary map. 

Like other works of this genre, the Conoscimiento is written from the 
point of view of the narrator, but he seems only to imitate literary tradition 
in an attempt to lead his readers to believe in the truthfulness of the en- 
deavor. To bring added authority to his writing, the author at times em- 
ploys the first-person plural in order to imply that he had company during 
part of his journey. These companions are never cited more than once and 
then only by profession; they are generally merchants in whose ships he 
travels for a time. He often uses other modes of expression to lend an air of 
authenticity to what he claims to have seen or done. Sometimes he says 
"wise men told me this," or "they affirm that," "I heard marvelous things," 
"they showed me," or "they told me other secrets." But when telling of 
something quite fantastic (such as the existence of men without necks), the 
narrator generally adds the disclaimer "but I did not see them," apparently 
because he is not very convinced of what he is saying. Nevertheless, the 
author does affirm that he saw Noah's ark, which probably seemed more 
historically valid to him than reports of ill-formed humans and therefore 



INTRODUCTION Iv 



more believable to his intended readership. In contrast, William of Rubruck 
and Marco Polo continually stress that they have seen these things them- 
selves, or were supplied the information by trustworthy witnesses. 

His story-telling vocabulary is also limited and repetitive, based almost 
solely on the verb contar. "ya conte de suso"; "ya contare"; "ya contamos"; 
"seria luengo de contar" [I already told of above; I will soon tell; we al- 
ready told; It would be too long to tell]. Occasionally he uses the verb fablar 
[to speak] or dezir [to say] . The narrator frequently addresses his audience in 
the imperative form sabet [know]. Of particular interest is the terminology 
he utilizes to write of the act of traveling: never once does the verb uiajar 
[to travel] appear in the text, nor the noun viaje [journey]. In fact, he uses 
no nouns at all to describe the journey; he reserves the word jomada [a 
day's-worth of traveling] for measuring the distance between two places or 
for the size of a region. The author instead makes use of a variety of verbal 
expressions relating to travel: travesar, salir, llegar, partir, ir, pasar, ir por tierra, 
tomar camino [to cross, to leave, to arrive, to depart, to go, to pass, to go by 
land, to take a road]. And he mentions only two ways of transportation: by 
sea, in various kinds of boats, ships, and galleys; and by land, he mentions 
only camels. The author does not remark whether he traveled on foot or 
horseback when trekking across land on anything other than a camel. 

Because they are written by inexperienced authors, most medieval travel 
books hold little literary interest or have no notable literary value. Their 
style is straightforward and linear both geographically and chronologically; 
figurative language almost never appears in them. But the Libra del conosci- 
miento is a particularly prosaic narrative characterized by repetitive modes of 
expression, ponderous lists of place-names, commonplace epithets to de- 
scribe people or sites, as well as a general scarcity of detail about the narra- 
tor's personal experiences or observations. In fact, precise description is re- 
served only for the coats of arms that appear both blazoned (verbally 
depicted) and painted or sketched at the end of each section concerning a 
place or ruler. 

The special attention given the heraldic aspect of the Conoscimiento leads 
us to suspect that the geographical data in the book serve merely as a pre- 
text for the blazoning and depiction of the coats of arms of more than one 
hundred states, cities, and rulers. The author nevertheless does not entirely 
neglect the geographical component of his work for, as we have seen in 
other sections, he generally provides up-to-date information on places such 
as the western coast of Africa. These two elements together were probably 
responsible for the book's apparent popularity in the 1400s; the combination 
of heraldry and political geography would have been more attractive to the 



Ivi INTRODUCTION 



fifteenth-century reader or book collector than the pedestrian treatment that 
the journey receives. 

It is not until the fifteenth century that Spain produces real travel books. 
Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo completed his Embajada a Tamorldn [Embassy to 
Tamerlaine] in about 1406. Written in the third person (which sets it apart 
firom most other works of the genre) , it is essentially the chronicle of an of- 
ficial embassy visit, an almost day-to-day record that Clavijo composed dur- 
ing his journey, and offers an abundance of details including exact dates and 
hours of the day, precise accounts of what he observed and heard, and an 
excellent physical description of the lands he saw. Pero Tafur's Andattfas e 
viajes Uourneys and Travels] was written following his return from travels 
which lasted from 1436 to 1439, and is therefore a less explicit narrative 
than most. Nevertheless, Tafur offers accurate information of his voyages 
and the time he spent in this endeavor. Although intended to be a chronicle 
of the life of don Pero Nino, Count of Buelna, Gutierre Diez de Games's 
El Victorial essentially contains a travel narrative of the count's wanderings 
from 1403 to 1410. All of these works, whether told in the first or third 
person, are characterized by the strong personality of their narrators, and the 
exact purpose of the travels reported, be it a diplomatic mission or simple ad- 
venture. The Conoscimiento is very unlike these examples of travel literature. 



About the Edition and Translation 

The present edition has been prepared using manuscript S as its base, 
since (as we have already seen in the section on the manuscript witnesses) 
it provides a complete text of the Libra del conoscimiento and contains the 
fewest number of errors of the four extant codices. Because all the available 
manuscripts date firom the fifteenth century — and are therefore removed by 
some one hundred years firom the work's date of composition — we have no 
"original" text upon which to base an edition. The edition offered here has 
been constructed with careful consideration to what would be the most 
correct and accurate text possible given the witnesses at hand. 

I have made as few modifications of the text as possible, following cur- 
rent practice, and have made only alterations that would faciUtate its read- 
ing. They are as follows: 

1 . All abbreviations have been resolved. 

2. Words have been capitalized and punctuation has been added according 
to modem usage. 

3. Orthographical changes have been made when the original makes 



INTRODUCTION h 



reading more difficult. This includes modernizing the spellings of u/v 
and i/j. When it occurs within a word or at the beginning of a word 
that need not be capitalized, R has been rendered rr. 

The translation follows closely the original Spanish text; this has been 
done in order to maintain its characteristic narrative form. Therefore no at- 
tempt has been made to improve the text by changing such infelicities as its 
abundant and sometimes tedious use of the word "and," including its fre- 
quent appearance at the beginning of sentences. Place-names have been left 
as they appear in the Spanish text for several reasons: the reader will be- 
come aware of the often numerous variants found in the original; some 
cities and other places are identified mistakenly by the narrator (the correct 
toponyms are found in the notes to the edition and translation); and the 
imaginary places mentioned usually have no apparent translation in English. 
However, those names containing descriptive adjectives (e.g.. Mar Mayor) 
have been translated (Great Sea). 

The Spanish and English texts share the same set of footnotes. 

The illustrations of the coats of arms mentioned in the text have also 
been prepared using S as the source. When they vary in the other manu- 
scripts, variant arms are given as well. In some cases the illustration was 
missing in S, and one of the other manuscripts, usually N, was used to 
supply the arms. 

The Roman numerals in square brackets in both the Spanish and Eng- 
lish texts refer to the number of the illustration. 



El Libro del conoscimiento 
de todos los reinos 

(The Book of Knowledge of All Kingdoms) 






I. Castilla y Leon Ila. Portogal (S) lib. Portogal (N, R, Z) 






III. Bayona 



IVa. Navarra (S) IVb. Navarra (N, R, Z) 






Va. Tolosa (S) 



Vb. Tolosa (R) Vc. Tolosa (N, Z) 






VI. Fran^ia 



VII. Flandes VIII. Alemana 






IX. Frisa 



X. Da^ia 



XI. Boemia 






XII. Litefama, Catalant Xllla. Polonia (S) Xlllb. Polonia (N, Z) 






XIIIc. Polonia (R) XlVa. Leon (S) XlVb. Leon (N, Z) 






XVIc. Leon (R) XV. Suevia XVIa. Gotlandia (S) 






XVIb. Gotlandia (N, R) XVIc. Gotlandia (Z) XVII. Gotia 






XVIII. Noruega 



XIX. Salanda 



XX. Escofia 






XXI. Inglaterra 



XXII. Irlanda 



XXIII. Ibernia 






XXIV. Granada 



XXV. Aragon 



XXVIa. Narbona (S) 






XXVIb. Narbona (N, R) XXVIc. Narbona (Z) XXVII. Genova 






XXVIII. Lonbardia XXIXa. Pisa (S) XXIXb. Pisa (N, R, Z) 






XXX. Florenfia XXXIa. Roma (S) XXXIb. Roma (N, R, Z) 



71^ W. 



"Jr olr ilr 






wry 




XXXIIa. Napol (S) XXXIIb. Napol (N, Z) XXXIIc. Napol (R) 






XXXIII. ge^ilia XXIV. Venecia XXXV. Esclavonia 






XXXVIa. Boxnia (S) XXXVIb. Boxnia (N, R, Z) XXXVII. Narent 






XXXVIII. Ungria XXXIX. Morea XL. Rodas 






XLIa. Satalia 



XLIb. Satalia (N. R, Z) XLII. Turquia 



/^r 


■1- 

— , . 


\ 


V^ 




XLIII. Corincho 



XLIVa. Cunio (S) 






XLIVb. Cunio (N, R, Z) XLVa. Savasco (S) XLVb. Savasco (N, R, Z) 






XLVI. Armenia Menor XLVII. Chipre 



XLVIIIa. Suria (S) 






XLVIIIb. Suria (N) XLVIIIc. Suria (R, Z) XLIX. Damasco 






L. Egipto 



LI. Alexandria LII. Luchon 






LIII. Tolometa LIV. Tripul 



LV. Africa 






LVI. Tunez 



LVII. Cerdena LVIII. Cor^ega 






LIX. Bona 



LX. Costantina LXI. Bugia 






LXIIa. Brischan (S, Z) LXIIb. Brischan (R) LXIII. Mayorca 






LXIV. Treme9en LXV. ^epta 



LXVI. Fez 






LXVII. Marruecos LXVIII. Qu^ia LXIX. Sugulmen^a 






LXX. Tocoron LXXI. Buda 



LXXII. Guinea 






LXXIII. Organa LXXIV. Tauser LXXV. Tremisin 






LXXVIa. Dongola (S, R) LXXVIb. Dongola (N, Z) LXXVII. Gropis 






LXXVIII. Gotonie LXXIX. Amenuan LXXX. Gra^iona 






LXXXIa. Preste John (S) LXXXIc. Preste John (N) 

LXXXIb. Preste John (N) 






LXXXId. Preste John (R, Z) LXXXIIb. Magdasor (N, R, Z) 

LXXXIIa. Magdasor (S) 






LXXXIII. Bandacho LXXXIV. Meca LXXXV. Sicroca 






LXXXVI. Lini LXXXVII. Viguy LXXXVIII. Oxanap 






LXXXIX. Catayo XC. Armalet XCI. Gran Can 








XCII. S9im 



XCIII. Bocarin, Cato XCIV. Norgan^ia 





WW. 

3l FE 



XCV. Persia 



XCVI. Saldania 



XCVIIa. Salonico (S) 



@ 


kx^ 


® 





XCVIIb. Salonico (N, R) XCVIIIb. Constantinopla (N, R) 

XCVIIIa. Constantinopla (S) 











@ 


o* 


® 

— y 




G 
G 




Va 


- 


\® 


©/ 



al Fg 



XCIXa. Lodomago (S) XCIXb. Lodomago (N, R) Ca. Meseber (S) 






Cb. Meseber (N, R) CI. Ve9ina CII. Comania, Tana, Canardi 






cm. Sant Estopoli CIV. Trapesonda CVa. Semiso (S) 





r- ' ■- — ' 
@ 


\> 


@ 



CVb. Semiso (N) CVIa. Castelle (S) CVIb. Castelle (N) 




r 1 
@ 




® 




CVIIa. Palolimen (S) CVIIb. Palolimen (N) CVIII. Feradelfia 






CIX. Atologo 



ex. Derbent 



CXI. Caraol 






CXII. Sara 



CXIII. Sabur 



CXIV. Roxia 






CXV. Sic^ia 



CXVI. Xorman (N) CXVII. Maxar 





CXVIII. Silvana 



CXIX. Yrcania (N) 



El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENXO DE TODOS 

LOS RREGNOS E TIERRAS ET SENORIOS 

QUE SON POR EL MUNDO 

Este libro es del conosfimiento de todos los rregnos et tierras et senorios 
que son por el mundo, et de las senales et armas que han cada tierra et 
senorio por sy. 

En el nonbre de Dios padre et fijo et spiritu santo que son tres personas 
indeviduas en una esen^ia: Yo fuy nas^ido en el rreynado de Castilla, 
rreynante en uno el muy noble rrey don Fernando fijo del muy noble rrey 
don Sancho,^ quando andava la era del mundo segund los abraicos en 9inco 
mill et sesenta et finco afios, et la era del general diluvio en quatro mill et 
quatrofientos et siete, et la era de Nabucodonosor Rey de Caldea en dos 
mill et finquenta et dos aiios, et la era del grande Alixandre de Mafedonia 
en mill et seysq;ientos et diez et siete aiios, e la era de ^esar Enperador de 
Roma en mill et tresientos et quarenta et tres aiios, et la era de Cristo en 
mill et trezientos et quatro aiios, et la era de los alarabes en siete^ientos et 
seys, en onze dias del mes de setienbre.'^ Et avia en el rreynado del dicho 
rreyno veynte et ocho fibdades et con otras muchas villas et castillos et 
logares. Las tres ^ibdades son ar^obispados, que son Sevilla et Toledo et 
Conpostela, et las veynte et ^inco ^ibdades son obispados, que son Alge- 
zira^ et Cordova, Jahen, Mur^ia, Badajoz, Coria, Qibdat Rodrigo, ^amora, 



' Sancho IV (1284-95) and Fernando IV (1295-1312). 

^ The various methods used to calculate the year of the author's birth create confusion about 
whether he was bom in September of 1304 or 1305. The Jews consider that Christ was born in 
the year 3761 of Creation, therefore the year 5065 cited here seems to correspond to 1305; since 
the Hebrew New Year could fall between September 3 and October 6, however, September 1 1 
of Hebrew year 5065 could have corresponded to 1304 A.D. According to the Alphonsine 
Tables, the Great Flood took place 3101 years and 319 days before the birth of Christ; the year 
4407, therefore, would be the equivalent of 1305 A.D. The era of Alexander the Great began 
with his fint conquests in 312 B.C.; 1617 years later also corresponds to 1305 A.D. Finally, the 
author apparently uses the year 598 (when Mohammed began to preach his doctrine) as the 
beginning point of the Islamic era; 706 years afterwards was 1304 A.D. 

' Algeciras was conquered by Alfonso XI in 1344, a reference which helps determine that 
this book was composed after this date. 



The Book of Knowledge of all 

THE Kingdoms, Lands, and Lordships 

IN THE World 

This is the book of knowledge of all the kingdoms and lands and lord- 
ships that there are in the world, and of the insignia and arms that each land 
and lordship has. 

In the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, who are three indi- 
vidual persons in one essence. I was bom in the Kingdom of Castilla, 
during the reign of the very noble King Fernando, son of the very noble 
King Don Sancho, when the era of the world, according to the Hebrews, 
was 5065 years, and the era of the Great Flood 4407 years, and the era of 
Nebuchadnezzar King of Caldea 2502 years, and the era of Alexander the 
Great of Macedonia 1617 years, and the era of Caesar Emperor of Roma 
1343 years, and the era of Christ 1304 years, and the era of the Arabs 706 
years, on the eleventh day of the month of September. 

And there were in the reign of said kingdom twenty-eight cities and 
many other towns and castles and villages. Three of these cities are arch- 
bishoprics, to wit, Sevilla and Toledo and Compostela; and twenty-five 
cities are bishoprics, namely Algezira and Cordova, Jahen, Mur^ia, Badajoz, 
Coria, (^iudad Rodrigo, Qamora, Salamanca, Plazen^ia, Avila, Segovia, 



El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 



Salamanca, Plazen^ia, Avila, Segovia, Palen^ia, Cuenca, Osma, Astorga, 
Burgos, Leon, Oviedo, Orense, Tuy, Lugo, Mondonedo, Calahorra, (^i- 
guen^a. Et falle en este rreinado prin^ipalmente quatro montes altos: los 
montes de Bizcaya, que son rribera del Mar Ogidental'* et que se tyenen 
con las sierras de las Asturias; al otro monte dizen la Sierra de Segovia, a do 
son muchas villas et logares; al otro monte dizen la Sierra Morena; al quarto 
monte dizen la Sierra de Segura, donde nas^en dos rrios muy grandes. Al 
uno dizen Guadalquevyr, que antiguamente dezian Betis, et pasa por 
Cordova et por Sevilla et entra en el Mar O^idental en un logar que dizen 
Barrameda. Al otro rrio dizen Segura, et va por Mur^ia et entra en el mar 
Medio Terreno ^erca de un lugar que dizen Guardamar. Et falle en este 
rreinado seys rrios grandes: Guadalquivir, que ya conte; al otro rrio dizen 
Tajo, que corre por Toledo et por Santaren et entra en la Mar Ofidental 
ferca de una ^ibdat que dizen Lisboa en el rreynado de Portogal; al otro se 
dizen Duero, et corre por Soria et por Alma9an et por Santesevan de Gor- 
maz et va por una ^ibdat que dizen ^amora et entra en el Mar de 
Poniente^ ferca de la fibdat que dizen Portogallo; al otro rrio dizen Gua- 
diana, et va por un lugar que dizen Calatrava et dende va a un lugar que 
dizen Merida et dende va por vna ^ibdat que dizen Badajoz et entra en la 
Mar de Poniente en un lugar que dizen Castro Marin; al otro rrio dizen 
Ebro, que va por Tudela et por Qaragoga (^ibdades del rreinado de Ara- 
gon), et entra en el mar Medio Terreno ferca de una ^ibdat que dizen Tor- 
tosa. Et sabet que en este rreynado de CastiUa et Leon tiene toda la marisma 
del poniente fasta Bayona la mayor, et parte con Navarra et Aragon et Gran- 
ada. Las seiiales deste rrey deste rreyno es un pendon con dos castillos et dos 
leones fechos en quarterones, tales como estos que adelante se siguen. [I] 

E party del rreynado de CastiUa et fuy al rreinado de Portogal, et falle en 
el quatro fibdades grandes: Lisbona et el Portogallo et Santaren et Bragaa. 
Et corren por ellas tres rrios grandes: Tajo et Guadiana et Duero, de que ya 
conte de suso. Et este rreynado parte con el Mar de Poniente et con el rrey- 
nado de CastiUa et Leon. Et las seiiales del rrey deste rreyno son un pendon 
con castiUos alderredor, et quynas en medio como aqui se siguen. [II] 

E parti de Portogal et fueme por la marisma del Mar Of idental a la pro- 
vin^ia de GaUizia, al puerto de Bayona de Mino,'' et desi a Ponte Vedra, et 
dende fuy a Sant Ander et a Castro de Urdiales et a Bilbao et a Sant Sa- 
bastian, que es toda esta marisma del senor Rey de CastiUa. Et dende fuy a 



^ The Atlantic, called the Western Ocean since ancient times. 

'' Another name for the Atlantic Ocean is the Poniente, so named for its position. 

'■ A city in Galicia near the mouth of the River Miiio. 



The Book of Knowledge 



Palen^ia, Cuenca, Osma, Astorga, Burgos, Leon, Oviedo, Orense, Tuy, 
Lugo, Mondofiedo, Calahorra, Qiguen^a. And in this kingdom there are 
four principal ranges of high mountains: the mountains of Bizcaya, which 
are on the coast of the Western Sea and border on the Asturian sierra; they 
call the other mountains the Sierra of Segovia, where there are many towns 
and villages; they call the other mountains the Sierra Morena; they call the 
fourth mountain range the Sierra de Segura, where two great rivers 
originate. One they call the Guadalquevyr, which they formerly called 
Betis, and it passes through Cordova and Sevilla and enters the Western Sea 
at a place called Barrameda. The other river they call Segura, and it goes 
through Mur^ia and enters the Medio Terreno Sea near a village called 
Guardamar. And there are in this kingdom six great rivers: Guadalquivir, of 
which I have already told; the other river they call the Tajo, which runs by 
Toledo and Santaren and enters the Western Sea near a city they call Lisboa 
in the kingdom of Portogal; they call the other the Duero, and it runs 
through Soria and through Alma^an and Santestevan de Gormaz, and goes 
through a city called (^amora, then enters the Western Sea near a city they 
call Portogallo; the other river they call Guadiana, and it flows near a place 
called Calatrava and then goes to a town named Merida, then to a city 
called Badajoz, and enters the Western Sea in a village called Castro Marin; 
they call the other river the Ebro, which flows through Tudela and (^ara- 
go^a (cities in the Kingdom of Aragon), and enters the Medio Terreno Sea 
near a city they call Tortosa. And know that this Kingdom of Castilla and 
Leon has swampy land in the west near Bayona Major, and it borders on 
Navarra and Aragon and Granada. The insignia of the king of this kingdom 
is a flag with two castles and two lions, quartered like these that now 
follow. [I] 

And I left the Kingdom of Castilla and went to the Kingdom of Porto- 
gal, where I found four great cities: Lisbona and Portogallo and Santaren 
and Bragaa. And three great rivers run through them: Tajo and Guadiana 
and Duero, which I have already told of above. And this kingdom borders 
on the Western Sea and the Kingdom of Castilla and Leon. And the insig- 
nia of the king of this kingdom is a flag with castles around it and escutch- 
eons in the center, in this manner. [II] 

I left Portogal and went along the swampy coast of the Western Sea to 
the province of Gallizia, to the port of Bayona de Mino, then to Ponte 
Vedra, from where I went to Sant Ander and to Castro de Urdiales and to 
Bilbao and to Sant Sabastian, coastal lands which all belong to the King of 
Castilla. And from there I went to Bayona la Mayor, which is in Gascuefia, 



El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 



Bayona la Mayor, que es en Gascuefia, que esta asentada entre el Mar de 
Poniente et los Montes Pirineos. El senor desta Bayona a por senales un 
pendon bianco con una cruz bermeja atal. [Ill] 

Parti de Bayona et entre por Navarra, un rreynado muy vifioso, en que 
ay tres fibdades grandes, conviene a saber: Panplona et Tudela et Estela. Et 
corren por el tres rrios grandes, que son Ebro et el flumen Sinca et el flu- 
men Sigre. Et el rrey della a por senales estas que se siguen7 [IV] 

E parti de Navarra et atravese los montes Perineos que allegan fasta el 
condado de Anpurias, et destos montes nas^en quatro rrios grandes. Al 
primero dizen Sinca, al segundo Sigre, al terfero Giron,^ al quarto Ebro. Et 
a la parte esquyerda destos montes es el condado de Burdeo et Limogines, 
Caorz et Armeiiaque et Piteos,^ et la noble gibdat de Tolosa, do son los 
estudios de las artes liberales. Et el senor desta Tolosa a por senales un pen- 
don bermejo con una cruz de oro pintada atal.^" [V] 

E parti de Tolosa et tome a la marisma al condado de Burdeo, et dende 
fuy a la Rochela, una rrica ^ibdat de Fran^ia, et dende fuy a la punta de 
Sanmae, que es en la provin^ia de Bretana, et dende fuy al golfo de Samalo, 
et dende a la provin^ia de Lormandia,^' que es todo esto en el rreinado de 
Fran^ia, do son muchas ^ibdades et villas et logares. Et parti de Lormandia 
por la marisma et fuy al golfo de Loira, en el qual entra un grand rrio que 
dizen Saina,'^ que nas^e de los montes que dizen Pirineos, et traviesa todo 
el rreinado de Fran^ia et entra por medio de la grand fibdat de Paris, et 
entra por el mar del golfo de Loira. Et deste golfo fasta Paris son quatro 
jomadas. Et sabed que el rreynado de Fran9ia parte con el Mar Medio 
Terreno en una fibdat que dizen Narbona, et parte con los Alpes Alsa^ie, 
et con toda la marisma de Flandes et toda la Gascueiia fasta los montes 



^ S illustrates the familiar arms of Navarre, with its four chains that cross at the center. 
Markham explains its origins: "The King of Navarre and his knights broke the chain which 
defended the approach to the Almohade Sultan's tent, at the batde of Las Navas de Tolosa in 
1212. From that time the Kings of Navarre bore the chain on their coat of arms, and on their 
flag" {Knowledge of the World, 4). 

Both N and R depict three horizontal chains, above which are found three fleurs-de-lis. 

" Jimenez de la Espada proposes that this is the Ter River, called Giron here because it 
passes through Gerona (205). 

' According to Jimenez de la Espada, this might refer to the county of Poitiers or Pitou 
(193). 

'" S and R each provide the banner described here. In N, despite the fact that the same 
description is given, there appear instead the arms of Barcelona, an apparent error made by the 
illuminator. 

" The first is probably the Pointe St.-Mathieu (near Brest), which appears on the Catalan 
map as Samae. The others are the Gulf of St.-Malo and Normandy. 

'^ The Seine. 



The Book of Knowledge 



which is located between the Western Sea and the Pirineos Mountains. The 
lord of this Bayona has as his insignia a white flag with a vermiUon cross, in 
this manner. [Ill] 

I left Bayona and entered Navarra, a kingdom of great abundance in 
which there are three great cities, to wit, Pamplona and Tudela and Estela. 
And through it run three great rivers, the Ebro and the Sinca and the Sigre. 
And the king of it has as his insignia the one that follows. [IV] 

And I left Navarra and crossed the Pirineos Mountains that extend to 
the County of Anpurias, and from these mountains four great rivers 
originate. The first they call Sinca, the second Sigre, the third Giron, and 
the fourth Ebro. And on the left side of these mountains is the County of 
Burdeo and Limogines, Caorz and Armeiiaque and Piteos, and the noble 
city of Tolosa, where the Liberal Arts are studied. And the lord of this 
Tolosa has as his insignia a vermilion flag with a cross of gold painted in this 
manner. [V] 

And I left Tolosa and returned to the coast to the County of Burdeo, 
and from there to Rochela, a rich city in Fran^ia, and from there I went to 
the Punta de Sanmae, which is in the province of Bretana, and from there 
I went to the Golf of Samalo, and from there to the province of Lormandia, 
all of this in the Kingdom of Fran^ia, which has many cities and towns and 
villages. And I left Lormandia for the coast and went to the Gulf of Loira, 
in which there enters a great river that they call Saina, which originates in 
the mountains called the Pirineos and crosses the whole Kingdom of 
Franfia, and passes through the center of the city of Paris, and enters the sea 
at the Gulf of Loira. From this gulf to Paris there is a four-day journey. 
Know that the Kingdom of Fran^ia borders on the Medio Terreno Sea at 
a city called Narbona, and borders on the Alpes Alsa9ie and the whole coast 



8 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

Pireneos. El Rey de Fran^ia a por senales un pendon azul con tres flores de 
lises de oro atales. [VI] 

E parti de Paris et fuy a Roan et a Chalon, et dende tome a la marisma 
a una ^ibdat que dizen Diepa del rreyno de Fran^ia. Et parti dende et fue 
a la punta de Cales, una rrica fibdat que es en la provinfia de la Picardia.'^ 
Et sabed que desde Cales fasta la isla de Inglatera es una pequena traviesa de 
ocho niillas. Et party de Cales et fliy al condado de Flandes a una noble 
f ibdat que dizen Brujas. Et el senor dende a por seiiales un pendon de oro 
con un leon prieto atal. [VII] 

Desde ende fuy me por la marisma a una fibdat que dizen Solanda et 
dende a otra que dizen Maxa, et otra Leobet, que son ^ibdades de Alemana. 
Et dende pase a Dodret,''* una grand fibdat et rrica, et pasa por ella un 
gran rrio que dizen Rinus que nas^e de los Alpes Alemana, el qual rrio pasa 
por Colona, una grand ^ibdat de Alemana. Et en esta Colona diz que yazen 
soterrados los tres Reyes Magos que adoraron a Jesu Cristo en Beleen, pero 
que quando fuy en el inperio de Catayo en una fibdat que dizen Solin, me 
mostraron tres monimentos muy onrrados et dixeron me que eran de los 
tres Reyes Magos que adoradon a Jesu Cristo, et que de ally fueron na- 
turales.'^ Et en esta Alemaiia son unos montes muy altos que llaman Alpes 
Alemanie, et nas9en dende tres rrios. Al uno dizen Ruedano, que va por 
una ^ibdat que dizen Leon,^^ et ayuntase a el otro rrio muy grande que 
nasfe de los Alpes Alsafie. Et van por Lurdevit et por Avinon, una fibdat 
do mora el Papa de Roma, et entra en el Mar Medio Terreno apres de una 
fibdat que dizen Arle. Et estas ^ibdades son del rreyno de la Proen9ia.'^ Al 
otro rrio dizen Rinus, et va por la gibdat de Colona de que ya conte de 
suso, et entra en la Mar de Alemana. Al otro rrio dizen Danubio, et traviesa 



'-^ After Paris, Rouen, Chalons, Dieppe, and Calais. 

'■' The first is the province of Zeeland (Netherlands). Jimenez de la Espada (226) and 
Markham (64) identify the second as Maastricht. Jimenez de la Espada (220) suggests that Leobet 
might be either Leuven or Limbourg (both in Belgium), while Markham (64) beheves it is 
Lieges, but it is not clear which city the narrator had in mind. The last place mentioned is 
Dordrecht; the supposed itinerary does not help determine what Leobet might be, since the 
narrator would have traveled fi-om Zeeland southeast to Maastricht, then northwest to Dordrecht 
after the intermediary stop in Leobet. 

'^ Besides this reference to Cologne, there are various legends about the burial place of the 
Magi. Marco Polo reported that their tomb could be found in Penia, while the Catalan Atlas 
illustrates it in the eastern part of Turkestan. Another story is that Saint Helena had them 
removed from India and brought to Milan. See Markham (6, n.l) and Jimenez de la Espada 
(123). 

'^ The Rhone River, which passes through Lyon. 

" Perhaps this is Luc-en-Diois, southwest of Lyon on the Drome River. The kingdom 
mentioned is Provence. 



The Book of Knowledge 



of Flandes and Gascuena, up to the Pireneos. The King of Fran^ia has as his 
insignia a blue flag with three gold fleurs-de-lis, in this way. [VI] 

I departed Paris and went to Roan and to Chalon, and from there I 
turned toward the coast to a city they call Diepa, in the Kingdom of 
Fran^ia. And I left there and went to the point of Gales, a rich city in the 
province of Picardia. Know that from Gales to the isle of Inglatera there is 
a short crossing of eight miles. And I departed Gales and went to the Coun- 
ty of Flandes to a noble city they call Brujas. And the lord of it has as his 
insignia a flag of gold with a black lion. [VII] 

From there I went along the coast to a city they call Solanda and from 
there to another they call Maxa and another named Leobet, which are all 
cities in Alemana. And from there I traveled on to Dodret, a great and rich 
city, through which flows a great river they call Rinus that originates in the 
Alpes Alemaiia and passes through Goloiia, a great city in Alemana. And in 
the Goloiia they say the Three Magi who adored Jesus Ghrist in Beleen lie 
buried, but when I went to the Empire of Gatayo to a city they call Solin, 
they showed me three much honored monuments and told me they were 
for the Three Magi who adored Jesus Ghrist, who were bom there. And in 
this Alemaiia there are some very high mountains that they call the Alpes 
Alemanie, from which three rivers originate. They call one Ruedano, 
which runs through a city called Leon and converges with another great 
river that originates in the Alpes Alsa^ie. And they flow through Lurdevit 
and Avifion, a city where the Pope of Roma resides, and enter the Medio 
Terreno Sea after a city they call Arle. And these cities are in the Kingdom 
of Proen9ia. The other river they call Rinus, and it runs through the city of 
Golona of which I told above, and enters the Sea of Alemaiia. They call the 
other river Danubio, and it crosses all of Alemana and enters through the 



10 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

toda la Alemana et entra por medio del rreino de Ungria,^^ et faze y diez 
yslas muy grandes que adelante contare. Et fazen en la provin^ia de Barbaria 
un grand lago de agua dul^e que dizen Lacus Danoye, et va por una ^ibdat 
que dizen Varispona et entra por la provin^ia de la Germania, por una ^ib- 
dat que dizen Tusna.^*^ Et despues entra en la provin^ia de Panonia et va 
por Patania et por Ebruc et por Viana et por Arrisnar.^^ Et despues entra 
por el rreyno de Ungria et traviesalo todo, et entra en el Mar Mayor ^erca 
de una fibdat que dizen Ve^ina,^^ et faze apres della una ysla muy grande. 
Et el Enperador de Alemana a por senales un pendon amariUo con una 
aguila prieta coronada atal. [VIII] 

Party de Colona et fuy a una fibdat que dizen Colanda en el rreyno de 
Frisa. Et pasa por ella un grand rrio que dizen Albia,^^ que nas^e de las 
sierras de Boemia. Et aquy faze el Mar de Alemana^-' un grand golfo que 
dizen el Golfo de Frisa, en el qual golfo son quatro islas. A la una dizen 
Ruyna, a la otra dizen Erria, a la otra Finonia, a la otra dizen Ganglante.^"* 
Et el Rey de Frisa a por seiiales un pendon de oro con tres leones prietos 
luengos atales. [IX] 

Partime del rreyno de Frisa et entre luego en el rreyno de Da^ia de 
Danes, el qual es todo ^ercado del Mar de Alemana, et del otro cabo lo 
ferca el Golfo de Frisa de manera que todo este rreyno non a mas de una 
entrada sola. En el qual rreyno son doze fibdades grandes. A la mayor dizen 
Burbena,. et en esta coronan los rreyes de Da^ia. A la otra dizen Burgalensis, 
a la otra que dizen Bina, otra que dizen Abenbrut, otra que dizen Tandeus, 



'* "Ungria" is a name applied to an area which comprises modern-day Hungary, plus parts 
of Yugoslavia, Romania, and Bulgaria. 

" According to Markham (6), this is Lake Donaueschingen, just north of the French border 
near the Rhine River; Jimenez de la Espada (217) nevertheless considers it imaginary. Varispona 
is Ratisbon (Regensburg), on the Danube. Markham (6) believes that Tusna is the present-day 
Donaustauf, also on the Danube, although Jimenez de la Espada (263) would have it be Cham, 
a htde farther north on the Regen River. 

^" Jimenez de la Espada (237) identifies Panonia as an old province bordered on the north 
by the Danube. Patania is Passau, while Ebruc might be Enns (Austria, also on the Danube), 
followed by Vienna and Bratislava, on the Austrian-Czech border. 

"' Both Markham (6) and Jimenez de la Espada (123) mention Vidin, in Bulgaria, although 
it is far from the Black Sea (here called the Mar Mayor, or Great Sea). But Jimenez de la Espada 
goes on to explain that on the Catalan Atlas and other related maps Vidin was located wrongly 
near this body of water. 

^^ Jimenez de la Espada (124) believes that the narrator made an error in calling "Colanda" 
a city, and that he actually was referring to "(^elanda" or "Holanda," and that this confusion also 
can be seen on some ambiguous labeling of places on the Catalan Atbs. The Albia might be the 
Ohre River. 

" The Baltic. 

^^ See Jimenez de la Espada n.viii for more. Fyn and Lolland are Danish islands. According 
to Wright {Geographical Lore, 327) Frisia Minor was adjacent to Denmark. 



The Book of Knowledge H 

middle of the Kingdom of Ungria, and forms ten islands about which I will 
tell below. And in the province of Barbaria they form a large sweet- water 
lake that they call Lacus Danoye, and it runs through a city they call Varis- 
pona and enters the province of Germania near a city called Tusna. And 
afterwards it enters the province of Panonia and runs through Patania and 
Ebruc and Viana and Arrisnar. And later it enters the Kingdom of Ungria 
and crosses all of it and enters the Great Sea near a city they call Ve^ina, 
and it forms a very large island near it. And the Emperor of Alemaiia has as 
his insignia a yellow flag with a crowned black eagle. [VIII] 

I departed Colona and went to a city they call Colanda in the Kingdom 
of Frisa. A great river they call Albia, which originates in the Sierra de 
Boemia, runs through it. Here the Sea of Alemaiia forms a large gulf that 
they call the Gulf of Frisa, in which there are four islands. One they call 
Ruyna, the other Erria, another Finonia and the other they call Ganglante. 
The King of Frisa has as his insignia a gold flag with three long, black lions, 
like these. [IX] 

I left the Kingdom of Frisa and then entered the Kingdom of Da^ia de 
Danes, which is entirely surrounded by the Sea of Alemaiia, and on the 
other end is the Gulf of Frisa, so that this kingdom has no more than one 
entrance. In this kingdom there are twelve great cities. The largest they call 
Burbena, and in it they crown the kings of Da^ia. The other they call Bur- 
galensis, and they call the other Bina, another they call Abenbrut, another 
they call Tandeus, another they call Artuz, another Orens, another Ardonxep, 



12 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

otra que dizen Artuz, otra Orens, otra Ardonxep, otra Damesmare, otra 
Corp, otra Dandora, otra Dasia, otra Bonia.^^ Et desta punta Da^ia fasta 
Noruega son sesenta millas de traviesa. Et el rrey esta Da^ia a por senales un 
pendon de oro con tres leones prietos atales. pC] 

E parti del rreino de Dafia et tomeme para Alemana a una ^ibdat que 
dizen Lubet, que es en el ducado de Xaxonia, et dende a Rostot et a Bon- 
dizmague, que son ^ibdades de 7\lemana la alta, et dende a una fibdat que" 
dizen Grisualdiz, que es rribera de un grand lago de agua que dizen Ale- 
chon.^^ Et paselo et fuy a una fibdat que dizen Corverit, et dende a la 
fibdat de Escorpe, et dende a otra que dizen Dan^icha. Et por esta Dan- 
ficha pasa un grand rrio que dizen Turonie, que sale de las Sierras de 
Boemia et metese en el Mar de Alemana. ^^ Et en el rreyno de Boemia son 
siete fibdades grandes, conviene a saber: Grisua et Posna et Sirca et Noxia 
et Furent.^^ A la mayor fibdat dizen Praga, do coronan los rreyes de 
Boemia. Et esta Praga es toda ^ercada de una alta sierra que dizen los Montes 
de Boemia. Et en medio es una grand nava et en medio esta la fibdat 
asentada, ^ercada enderredor de un rrio grande que dizen Albia. Et nas^e 
otrosi otro rrio mas grande que dizen Vandalor,^'^ ^ erca de una grand tierra 
que dizen Avandalia por nonbre del rrio. Et las gentes desta tierra Avandalia 
conquyrieron antiguamente el Andaluzia de Espana et pusieronle su nonbre, 
conviene a saber, Andaluzia. Et el Rey de Boemia a por senales un pendon 
bianco con un leon bermejo coronado desta manera. [XI] 

E parti de Boemia et fuy a una provin^ia que dizen Sant Mirio, et otra 
que dizen Curconia et Culman,-"^ que son grandes provin^ias que son 
entre Alemana et el Mar Mayor. Et como quiera que scan pobladas de cris- 
tianos, pero son sismaticos. Et allegue a Litefama et a Catalant,-'' dos grandes 



^^ The capital of the Danish kingdom was Viborg. The other places mentioned are: Bom- 
holm, Ribe, AbenrS, Randers, Arhus, Odense, Haderelev, Gotorp, and Tonder. Danesmare 
seems to be a misinterpretation of Danes Mare, and might refer to one of the bodies of water 
surrounding this area. Jimenez de la Espada (185 and 197) suggests that the narrator mistook the 
name of the kingdom Dasia (Dacia) for a city within it, and that Bonia is simply a misreading of 
Dania, the other part of this toponym. 

"'' LiJbeck, Rostock, Straslund, and Greifswald, although this last town is not on the shores 
of any lake. The closest lake to it is Kummerower See, just southwest of Greifewald. 

^' Kolobrzeg, Stolpe Bank, and Gdansk are all on the north coast of Poland. The River 
Wista also passes through the city of Torun, and seems to receive a related name (Jimenez de 
la Espada 263). 

^^ The narrator seems to refer to cities in present-day Germany, Poland, and the Czech 
Repubhc as the Kingdom of Bohemia. 

^' The Rivers Labe (Elbe) and Vltava pass through Prague. 

■"' Could the narrator be referring to Sandomierz, Krakow, and Lwow in Poland? 

■" Markham (64) suggests that these are Livonia and Courland, regions in the former Soviet 
Union, and not cities as they are identified here. 



The Book of Knowledge 13^ 

another Danesmare, another Corp, another Dandora, another Dasia, another 
Bonia. And from this point from Dafia to Noruega there is a crossing of 
sixty miles. And the king of this Da^ia has as his insignia a flag of gold with 
three black lions, like these. pC] 

I departed the Kingdom of Da^ia and turned toward Alemaiia to a city 
they call Lubet, which is inthe Duchy of Xaxonia, and from there to Ros- 
tot and to Bondizmague, cities in Upper Alemafia, and from there to a city 
they call Grisualdiz, on the shores of a great lake they call Alechon. I passed 
it and went to a city they call Corverit, and from there to the city of 
Escorpe, and from there to another that they call Danficha. And through 
this Dan^icha runs a great river called Turonie, which comes out of the 
Sierra de Boemia and runs to the Sea of Alemaiia. In the Kingdom of 
Boemia there are seven great cities, to wit, Grisua, and Posna, and Sirca, 
and Noxia, and Furent. The largest city they call Praga, where they crown 
the kings of Boemia. And this Praga is totally surrounded by a high moun- 
tain range that they call the Mountains of Boemia. And in the middle is a 
great plateau, and in the middle of this the city is located, surrounded by a 
great river that they call the Albia. And yet another, larger river originates 
here, which they call Vandalor, near a great land that they call Avandalia 
after the river. And the people of this land Avandalia in ancient times 
conquered Andaluzia in Spain and gave it its name, that is, Andaluzia. The 
King of Boemia has as his insignia a white flag with a vermilion crowned 
lion, in this manner. [XI] 

I left Boemia and went to a province they call Sant Mirio, and to 
another called Curconia and Culman, which are great provinces between 
Alemaiia and the Great Sea. And although they are populated with Chris- 
tians, they are schismatics. I arrived in Litefama and Catalant, two great 



14 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

fibdades que son entre el Mar Mayor et el Mar de Alemana. Et es tierra 
muy poblada. Et el rrey dende a por sefiales un pendon bianco con esta 
serial prieta.-^^ [XII] 

Dende parti de Litefama et entre en el rreynado de Polonia, do son 
finco fibdades grandes, la mayor dellas Santa Maria, do se coronan los 
rreyes, otra que dizen Rinalia, otra U^ibant, otra que dizen Nugradia, otra 
Birona. Et sabet que entre en estas dos ^ibdades Nugradia et Virona, et 
corre el grand rrio que nas^e del grand lago que dizen Tanaiz, de que ade- 
lante contare. Et a este rrio dizen Nu-'-^ et entra en el Mar de Alemana, a 
do se acaba el golfo porque el Mar de Alemana es golfo que entra del Mar 
Of idental fasta la provin^ia de Palonia et pasa entre Alemaiia et las sierras de 
Noruega et acaba en la provin^ia de Palonia. Otrosi por esta Palonia corre 
otro rrio muy grande que dizen Echan, et nasf e de las nieves que se fazen 
en las sierras de la trasmontana, et faze un grand lago apres de Virona. Et el 
rrey desta Polonia a por sefiales un pendon verde con esta sefial bermeja 
atal.-^^ [XIII] 

Party del rreynado de Polonia et fuyme al rreyno de Leon (los alemanes 
dizenle Lunbret), en que son ^inco fibdades grandes. La primera dizen Leon, 
otra China, otra Basadino, otra Trues, otra Qever. Et sabet que este rreino 
de Leon parte con la provin^ia de Romania et con el rreyno de Suana.-*^ 
Et el rrey desta Leon a por sefiales un pendon verde con una cruz bermeja 
segund que aqui se sigue.^** [XIV] 

Despues desto tomeme por la otra marisma desta Mar de Alemafia a la 
parte de la trasmontana que dizen la Tierra de Europa,^^ de que adelante 
contare, et entra por una grand provinfia que dizen Suevia. Et falle una 
grand fibdat que dizen Roderin, muy rrica et muy poblada como quier que 
la tierra es muy fria. Et avia en ella nueve ^ ibdades grandes, convien a saber 
Tarsa, otra Andine, otra Chicobergis, otra Landis, otra Ystat, otra Formeans. 
Et en este rreynado son dos lagos muy grandes. Al uno dizen Laco Escarse, 



^- The emblem depicted in all three manuscripts is a six-pointed star, like the Star of David. 
Pasch ("Drapeaux du Lihro del conosdmiento," 18) does not think it has anything to do with a 
Jewish community there, and says that it is a "mysterious" usage of the star. 

•^'Jimenez de la Espada (217) identifies this lake as the supposed origin of the Rivers Volga, 
Don, and Dvina. The River Nu is the Nogat, that flows into the Baltic. 

^* S depicts a hexagram decorated with a scalloped border. N and R show a cross mounted 
on an upturned crescent not only for Poland, but also for the next kingdom mentioned, Leon 
(Lwow). 

■'■'' This seems to be an area where Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and the former 
Soviet repubhcs meet. Markham (9) beUeves that Leon is the province Galicia in the southeast 
comer of Poland. 

^^ In S, the banner bears no cross. 

^^ Finland, Sweden, and Norway. 



The Book OF Knowledge 15 

cities that lie between the Great Sea and Sea of Alemana. It is a densely 
populated land. Its king has as his insignia a white flag with this black 
emblem. [XII] 

From there I departed Litefama and entered the Kingdom of Polonia, 
where there are five great cities, the largest of which is Santa Maria, where 
they crown their kings, another that they call Rinalia, another Ufibant, 
another that they call Nugradia, another Birona. And know that I entered 
these two cities Nugradia and Virona, and through them runs a great river 
that originates in the great lake they call Tanaiz, of which I will tell later. 
They call this river Nu, and it enters the Great Sea where the gulf ends, 
because the Sea of Alemana is a gulf that enters the Western Sea near the 
province of Palonia, and passes between Alemana and the sierras of 
Noruega, and ends in the province of Palonia. In addition, another very 
large river, which they call Echan, runs through this Palonia, and it origi- 
nates in the snows that are made in the sierras of the north, and forms a 
large lake after Virona. The king of this Polonia has as his insignia a green 
flag with this vermilion emblem, like this. pCIII] 

I departed the Kingdom of Polonia and went to the Kingdom of Leon 
(which the Germans call Lunbret), in which there are five great cities. They 
call the first Leon, another China, another Basadino, another Trues, and the 
other (^ever. And know that this Kingdom of Leon borders on the prov- 
ince of Romania and the Kingdom of Suana. And the King of Leon has as 
his insignia a green flag with a vermilion cross, as is seen here. [XIV] 

After this I turned toward the other shore of the Sea of Alemana, to the 
northern part they call the Land of Europe, which I will mention later on, 
and entered a great province they call Suevia. And I found there a great city 
they call Roderin, which is very rich and populated, although it is a very 
cold land. And there were in it nine great cities, which are Tarsa, another 
is Andine, another Chicobergis, another Landis, another Ystat, another For- 
means. And in this kingdom there are two large lakes. One they call Laco 



16 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

al otro Laco Estocol.^^ Et el rrey desta Suevia a por senales un pendon 
amarillo con dos leones bermejos, uno contra otro, desta manera que se 
sigue. [XV] 

Parti de la ^ibdat de Roderin, entre en una nao, et pase a una isla que 
dizen Gotlandia, et fazese en cabo del Golfo de Alemana. En la qual isla es 
una grand ^ibdat que dizen Bisuy, en que son noventa perrochias, et la isla 
era toda poblada. Apres della es otra isla mas pequena que dizen Oxilia.^^ 
Et el rrey destas islas a por senales un pendon con vandas amarillas et car- 
denas atravesadas desta manera que se sigue.'**' [XVI] 

Party de Gotlandia et tomeme para Gotia, una provin^ia que es entre 
Suevia et Noruega, et falle y tres gibdades grandes. La primera dizen Esto- 
col, a la otra Caiman, a la otra Surdepinche.'*' Et apres desta fibdat Estocol 
faze el Mar de Alemana un grand golfo rribera del qual son muchas ^ib- 
dades. Et el mar deste golfo es toda quajada et elada de los muy grandes 
frios de la trasmontana. Et las gentes desta Gotia conquirieron a Espana et 
fueron senores della muy grand tienpo. Et las senales deste rreynado son un 
pendon amarillo con dos leones bermejos, uno contra otro, tales como se 
siguen aquy. [XVII] 

Party de Gotia et sobi a la altas sierras de Noruega, que es en un rrei- 
nado muy fuerte en que son quatro ^ibdades grandes. A la mayor dizen 
Regis, do coronan los rreyes. A la otra dizen Nidroxia, a la otra Tronde, a 
la otra Trimberet. En las montanas desta Noruega crian muchas aves giri- 
faltes, a9ores, falcones. Otrosi crian muchas animalias fuertes, javalis blancos, 
osos blancos. Et dizen que un infante fijo del Rey de Noruega conquyrio 
el condado de Flandes en el tienpo del rrey Artur de Bretaiia.'*^ Et sabed 
que de Noruega adelante contra la trasmontana es tierra desabitada en que 
faze el aiio todo un dia et una noche, seys meses dura el dia et otros seys 
meses la noche, et que ay unas gentes que an las cabe^as fixas en los pechos, 



^* All are apparently cities on the Swedish coast, while the lakes mentioned are probably 
§ords near Stockholm. 

^' The city in Gotland is Wisby. The other island is probably Osel, which now belongs to 
Russia. 

■"' The bends shown in N and R are diagonal, and Pasch (17) affirms that this corresponds 
to this flag as drawn on many portolan charts. S displays horizontal stripes. 

^' Gotia seems to refer to the southern area of Sweden, with the cities Stockholm, Kalmar, 
and Soderkoping. 

*- There seems to be no historical basis for this anecdote, which probably originates in the 
story of the Knight of the Swan (who was not Norwegian): he rescued the daughter of Thierry 
III of Cleves from her oppressors, then married her. Later they founded a dynasty in Flanders. 



The Book of Knowledge 1/7 

Escarse, the other Laco Estocol. And the king of this Suevia has as his 
insignia a yellow flag with two vermilion lions, one facing the other, in the 
following manner. pCV] 

I left the city of Roderin, embarked a ship, and went on to an island 
they call Gotlandia, which is at the end of the Gulf of Alemana. On this is- 
land is a great city they call Bisuy, in which there are ninety parishes, and 
the island was totally populated. After it is another smaller island they call 
Oxilia. And the king of these islands has for his insignia a flag with yellow 
and cardinal red crossed bands, in the following manner. [XVI] 

I departed Gotlandia and went to Gotia, a province that is between 
Suevia and Noruega, and there I found three great cities. They call the first 
Estocol, the other Caiman, and the other Surdepinche. And beyond the city 
of Estocol the Sea of Alemana forms a great gulf on the shores of which 
there are many cities. And the water of this gulf is completely immobilized 
and frozen because of the great cold of the north. And the people of this 
Gotia conquered Spain and were lords of it for a long time. And the insig- 
nia of this kingdom is a yellow flag with two vermilion lions, one facing 
the other, such as follows here. pCVII] 

I departed Gotia and ascended the high sierras of Noruega, which is in 
a very important kingdom in which there are four great cities. The largest 
they call Regis, where they crown their kings. They call the other Ni- 
droxia, the other Tronde, and the other Trimberet. In the mountains of this 
Noruega they raise many gerfalcons, hawks and falcons. They also raise 
many wild animals, white boars, white bears. And they say that a son of the 
king of Noruega conquered the County of Flandes in the time of King 
Arthur of Bretana. Know that from Noruega onward toward the north the 
land is uninhabited, and the year is all one day and one night, the day 
lasting six months and the night the other six months, and there are some 
people whose heads are attached to their shoulders, who do not have necks 



18 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

que non an cuellos ninguno, pero yo non las vy.'*^ El rrey desta Noruega 
a por senales un pendon de oro con un leon prieto segund aquy se sigue. 
[XVIII] 

Parti de Noruega en una nao de ingleses et tomamos camino contra el 
poniente, et venimos a una isla que dizen Insola Cola, et dende venimos a 
otra isla que dizen Lister, et dende venimos a otra que dizen Insola Bon- 
dola, et dende venimos a otra isla muy grande que dizen Ynsula Salanda, et 
fazese a la entrada del Golfo de Frisa que ya conte de suso. Et esta Isla 
Salanda era muy poblada et avia en el quatro fibdades muy grandes. A la 
una dizen Salandi, a la otra Risent, a la otra Es^endin, a la otra Alenda.'*'* 
Et el rrey desta isla a por senales un pendon de oro con un leon prieto, 
como el de Noruega. [XIX] 

Parti de la Isla de Salanda en la dicha nave et andovimos grand camino, 
et Uegamos a otra isla que dizen Insula Tille, et dende Uegamos a la Isla de 
Esco^iia. Et falle en ella quatro ^ibdades grandes. A la una dizen Donfres, 
Eneruit, otra Donde, otra Veruit.'*^ El rrey desta Esco^ia a por senales un 
pendon bermejo con tres leones de oro luengos, como aquy se sigue. [XX] 

Parti por tierra d'Esco^ia et fuyme para el rreino de Inglaterra. Et sabed 
que es tierra muy poblada. Et falle en ella onze ^ibdades grandes. La mayor 
de ellas, do coronan los rreyes, Uaman Londres, otra Gunsa, do son los estu- 
dios generales, otra dizen Antona, et Bristol et Artamua et Premua et Mira- 
forda. Et en esta isla de Inglaterra ay una grand provinfia que dizen Galas 
en que ay una grand fibdat que dizen Dirgales.'^^ Et con esta Galas parte 
otra tierra que dizen Morgales, que es del senorio de Inglaterra. Et el rrey 
destas tierras a por senales un pendon a quarterones: en los dos quarterones 
ay flores de oro en canpo azul porque es el rrey de la casa de Fran^ia; en los 



^^ Men without necks are common in medieval lore, but appeared much earlier in Pliny and 
Solinus. 

^* Although the author says that he travelled west, such a route would not have taken him 
to the places he mentions. The first island is Oland (Sweden), foUowed by the Swedish peninsula 
Listerlandet, then Bornholm and Sjaslland, both Danish islands. Copenhagen, Ringsted, and Stor 
Hedding are found on Sjaelland. The author apparently mistook the name of the Danish island 
Lolland, just south of Sjaelland, for that of a city. Jimenez de la Espada (126) notes that the same 
error can be seen on the Catalan Adas, which also contains the same remarks about the animal 
life of Norway. 

*^ Might Insula Tille be Telemark, a region in the south of Norway, or Thyland, a province 
in northwest Denmark? The four Scottish cities referred to are Dumfries, Edinburgh, Dundee, 
and Berwick. During the era in which this book was probably written, the King of Scodand was 
David Bruce; Robert Bruce had secured Scodand's independence in 1314. 

^'' After London, possibly Windsor (although there were no studies to be had there), then 
Southampton, Bristol, Dartmouth, Plymouth, and Milford. Jimenez de la Espada (208) su^ests 
that Dirgales might be "Virgalles" in Wales, although it is not clear to what town he is referring. 



The Book of Knowledge 19^ 

at all, but I did not see them. The King of this Noruega has as his insignia 
a gold flag with a black lion, as follows. pCVIII] 

I left Noruega in a ship of Englishmen and we took a course to the west 
and came to an island they call Insola Cola, from which we arrived at 
another island they call Lister, from which we came to another they call 
Insola Bondola, from which we came to another very large island they call 
Ynsula Salanda, and it is found at the entrance to the Gulf of Frisa which I 
already mentioned above. And this Isla Salanda was very populated and 
there were four great cities in it. One they call Salandi, the other Risent, 
the other Esgendin, the other Alenda. And the king of this island has as his 
insignia a gold flag with a black lion, like the King of Noruega. pCIX] 

I departed the island of Salanda in the boat I mentioned and we traveled 
for a long time, and arrived at another island that they call Insula Tille, from 
which we came to the island of Esco^ia. And I found there four large cities. 
They call the first Donfres, [the second] Eneruit, another Donde, another 
Veruit. The king of this Esco^ia has as his insignia a vermilion flag with 
three long gold lions, as follows here. [XX] 

I left Escofia by land and went to the Kingdom of Inglaterra. And know 
that it is a very populated land. And I found in it eleven great cities. The 
largest of them, where they crown their kings, they call Londres, another 
Gunsa, where there are liberal studies, another Antona, and Bristol and 
Artamua and Premua and Miraforda. And in this island of Inglaterra there 
is a great province they call Galas in which there is a great city they call 
Dirgales. And this Galas borders on another land they call Morgales, which 
belongs to the lordship of Inglaterra. And the king of these lands has as his 
insignia a quarterly flag: in two quarters there are gold flowen on a field of 
blue because the king is of the House of Franfia; in the other two quarters 



20 El libro del conoscimiento 

otros dos quartos ay en cada uno tres on^as de oro luengas, et el canpo 
bermejo como estas que siguen/^ [XXI] 

Sali de la isla de Inglaterra en un barco et entre en la isla de Irlanda, que 
es pequena traviesa de una milla.'*^ Et dizenle antigua mente Ibemia. Et 
sabed que es isla muy poblada et tierra muy tenplada, et falle en ella seys 
fibdades grandes. A la mayor do coronan los rreyes dizen Estanforda, otra 
Ymeric, et Gataforda, et otra Rois, et Donbelin, Adrosda. Et en esta isla es 
un grand lago de agua que dizen el Lago Afortunado'*'^ porque rribera del 
fueron fechos muchos encantamentos antigua mente. Et el rrey desta insula 
a por senales tales commo el Rey de Inglaterra.^" [XXII] 

Conte^io que yo estando en Irlanda salio dende una nao para Espana et 
fuy con ellos, et andudo aquella nao por alta mar tanto tienpo que Uegamos 
a una isla que dizen Eterus, et dende a otra que dizen Artania, et a otra que 
dizen Qitilant, et a otra que dizen Ibemia.^' Et son estas islas a la parte do 
se pone el sol en el mes de junio, et todas estas islas eran pobladas et abon- 
dadas et tierra muy tenplada. Et en esta isla de Ibemia avia arboles que la 
fhita que llevavan eran aves muy gordas quando los arboles son muy bien 
labrados et rregados. Et estas aves eran muy sobrosas de comer, quyer cozi- 
das quier asadas.^^ Et en esta isla son los omes de muy grand vida, que al- 
gunos dellos biven dozientos aiios los que y son nas^idos et criados, de 
manera que non pueden morir demientra que estan en la ysla. Et quando 
son muy flacos de vegedat sacanlos de la isla et mueren luego. Et en esta isla 
non ay culebras nin bivoras nin sapos nin moscas nin araiias nin otra cosa 



*^ The background of the banner in S has been colored, but otherwise left blank. "On^as" 
(ounces) are heraldic leopards. 

'"' According to Hyde (144), this very short crossing from England to Ireland was the result 
of the narrator's misreading of a map, and not based on fact. 

^' The places mentioned are: Strangford, Limerick, Waterford, Rosslare, Dublin, and 
Drogheda. Other maps of the era also refer to "el Lago Afortunado" (Markham 12, Jimenez de 
la Espada 217). It might be the Erne, in present-day Northem Ireland. In his Topographia Hiher- 
niae, completed in 1188, Giraldus Cambrensis writes of a large lake near Ulster, the Lough 
Neagh, whose origin he attributes to a flood meant to punish the crimes of the people of this 
region (Wright 208). 

^" The outline of the flag is drawn in S, but left blank. Both N and R repeat the Ei^^ 
flag. 

^' The first are probably the Faroe Islands, followed by the Orkneys, the Shetland Islands, 
and Iceland, which is mistakenly called Ibernia. Dublin is mentioned below, but Markham (13) 
believes that the comment about it is a copyist's intercalation suggested by the erroneous men- 
tion of this Irish city. 

^^ Jimenez de la Espada (128-29) reports that reference to animal-bearing plants originated 
in Arabic travel accounts. In the twelfth century Giraldus Cambrensis (see also nn.49 and 53) de- 
scribes trees in Ireland that bear ducks; later, pseudo-traveler John Mandeville mentions edible 
birds that grow on trees in England. 



The Book of Knowledge 21^ 

there are in each three long gold leopards, and the field is vermihon, like 
the one that follows. [XXI] 

I departed the island of Inglaterra in a boat and entered the island of 
Irian da, which is a short crossing of one mile. And they formerly called it 
Ibernia. Know that the island is very populated and the land is very tem- 
perate, and I found in it six large cities. The largest, where they crowni their 
kings, they call Estanforda, another Ymeric, and Gataforda, and the other 
Rois, and Donbelin, Adrosda. And on this island there is a great lake that 
they call the Fortunate Lake, because on its shore many spells were cast in 
ancient times. And the king of this island has as his insignia the same as the 
King of Inglaterra. [XXII] 

It happened that while I was in Irlanda a ship was leaving there for 
Espana, and I went with them, and that ship sailed on the high seas for so 
long that we arrived at an island they call Eterus, and then to another they 
call Artania, and another they call Citilant, and another they call Ibernia. 
And these islands are on the western horizon in the month of June, and all 
these islands were populated and abundant and of very temperate land. And 
on this island of Ibernia there were trees whose fruit were very fat birds 
when the trees are well tended and watered. And these birds were delicious 
to eat, whether boiled or roasted. And on this island the men are very old, 
since some of them live two hundred years, that is, those who are bom and 
raised there, so that they cannot die as long as they are on the island. And 
when they are weak with age they take them off the island and then they 
die. And on this island there are no snakes nor vipers nor toads nor flies nor 



22 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

veninosa.^^ Et en esta Ibemia es una fibdat ar^obispal que dizen Dubilin. 
Et son gentes muy fermosas, como quier que son muy sinples. Et es tierra 
do non ay pan, como quiera que an muy grand abondo de cames et de 
leche. Et sabet que esta isla es fuera de las siete climas. Et el rrey desta isla 
a por sefiales un pendon de oro con un leon prieto, commo el Rey de 
Noruega. [XXIII] 

Despues desto parti de la isla de Ibemia en una nao et andude tanto por 
el Mar de Poniente fasta que aporte a la cabe^a de la fin de la tierra 
ofidental, Ponte Vedra en la provin^ia de Gallizia. Et de Ponte Vedra vine 
a una villa que es del rreyno de Castilla, que ya conte de suso, que dizen 
Tarifa, la qual poblo un alarabe muy poderoso que dixeron Tarif. Et sobre 
esta villa fue desbaratado et ven^ido Alboa^en, rrey de toda tierra del poni- 
ente de alien mar, et ven^iolo et desbaratolo el muy noble rrey don Alfonso 
de Castilla, et rrobole todos sus rreales et sus thesoros et todas sus mugeres, 
et matole sus cavallerias.^'* Et parti de Tarifa et fuy a la ^ibdat de Aljezira, 
et dende a la Pena de Gibraltar, que son los logares del rreyno de Castilla, 
et dende pase a Malaga, una fibdat muy vi^iosa et abondada del rreynado de 
Granada, en el qual rreynado son tres ^ibdades grandes. La mayor dellas do 
coronan los rreyes es Granada, et las otras dos son Malaga et Almaria. Et 
este rreynado parte con el Mar Medio Terreno et con el rreyno de Castilla. 
Et en este rreyno es un monte muy alto que llaman las Sierras de Granada, 
et traviesa todo el rreyno fasta la villa de Lorca, que es del rreyno de Castilla. 
Et las seiiales deste rrey son un pendon bermejo con letras de oro aravigas 
como las traya Mahomad su profeta, et son estas que se siguen.^^ pCXIV] 

Parti del rreinado de Granada et fuy al rreyno de Aragon, un rreynado 
muy vi9iosso et abondado. Et falle en el ^inco fibdades grandes: la mayor, 
do coronan los rreyes, es (^arago^a; otra dizen Valencia et a la otra Tarra- 
gona et a la otra Tortosa et a la otra Barcelona. Et corre por este rreino el 
rrio de Ebro et el flumen Sinca. Este rreynado parte con Navarra et con 
Castilla et con Fran^ia et con los Montes Pireneos. Et el rrey dende a por 
seiiales nueve bastones amarillos et bermejos atales. [XXV] 



*^ In his Topographia Hibemiae, Giraldus Cambrensis writes that no poisonous creatures could 
survive in Ireland because of some deficiency in the land's soil, and thus dismisses as fiction the 
story of St. Patrick's ridding the country of snakes (Wright 212). 

^^ The narrator is referring to the Batde of Salado, where Alfonso XI of Castile defeated 
King Abu-1-Hasan of Morocco in 1348. The Moroccan king's wife Fatima was fint uken 
prisoner, then killed by her captors; historical accounts also mention the enormous amount of 
booty taken by the Christians in this batde. 

** The "Arabic letters" that foUow are simple fantasy. 



The Book of Knowledge 23^ 

spiders nor anything else that is poisonous. And on this Ibemia there is an 
archiepiscopal city they call Dubilin. And they are very beautiful people, 
although they are very simple. And it is a land where there is no bread, 
although there is a great abundance of meats and of milk. Know that this 
island lies outside the Seven Climates. And the king of this island has as his 
insignia a gold flag with a black lion, like the King of Noruega. [XXIII] 

After this I departed the island of Ibemia in a ship and traveled a 
distance on the Western Sea until I reached port at the head of the end of 
the western land, Ponte Vedra in the province of Gallizia. And from Ponte 
Vedra I came to a town which is in the Kingdom of Castilla, of which I 
told above, that they call Tarifa, which a very powerful Arab, named Tarif, 
founded. And near this town Alboa^en, King of all the western land beyond 
the sea, was defeated and conquered, and it was the very noble King Don 
Alfonso de Castilla who conquered and defeated him, and stole from him 
all his military camps and his treasures and all his women, and [Alboa^en] 
was killed by his knights. And I left Tarifa and went to the city of Aljezira, 
and from there to the Peria de Gibraltar, which are towns in the Kingdom 
of Castilla, and from there I went to Malaga, a very luxurious and abundant 
city in the Kingdom of Granada, in which kingdom there are three great 
cities. The largest of them, where they crown their kings, they call Granada, 
and the others are Malaga and Almaria. And this kingdom borders on the 
Medio Terreno Sea and the Kingdom of Castilla. And in this kingdom there 
is a very high mountain they call they Sierra de Granada, and it crosses the 
entire kingdom all the way to the town of Lorca, which belongs to the 
Kingdom of Castilla. And the insignia of this king is a vermilion flag with 
gold Arabic letters, such as that of Mohammed, his prophet, and this is it 
that follows. [XXIV] 

I departed the Kingdom of Granada and went to the Kingdom of Ara- 
gon, a very luxurious and abundant kingdom. And I found in it five large 
cities: the largest, where they crown their kings, is (^arago^a; the other they 
call Valencia, and the other Tarragona and the other Tortosa and the other 
Barcelona. And through this kindom the rivers Ebro and Sinca flow. This 
kingdom borders on Navarra and Castilla and Fran^ia and the Pireneos 
Mountains. And its king has as his insignia nine yellow and vermilion pales 
in this manner. [XXV] 



24 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

Party de Barcelona et fuyme por la marisma al condado de Anpuria, et 
dende a la ^ibdat de Narbona, que es rribera del Mar Medio Terreno. El 
senor della a por senales uii pendon bianco con una cruz bermeja como la 
de Tolosa, et en cada quarto una tal seiial, porque esta fibdat fue de don 
Remondo, Conde de Tholosa. Et es esta que se sigue.^'' [XXVI] 

Parti de Narbona et fuy a Malagona, et dende a Monpesler,^^ et dende 
pase aguas muertas et travese el rrio de Ruedano, et fuy me para Arle, una 
noble fibdat et rrica que es en la Proen^ia. Et apres desta rribera del Rue- 
dano es Avifion, una rtica fibdat donde mora la corte de Roma et el Papa 
et los cardenales. Otrosy es Letduena, una fibdat del Rey de Fran^ia. 
Despues pase a Marsella que es cabe9a de la Proen^ia, et fuy me por la ma- 
risma a Frenit, et dende a Nista, et pase por Monago, et dende a Arbenga 
et a Saona.^^ Et subi en los montes de Genova, do es una rrica fibdat que 
dizen Genova, rribera del Mar Medio Terreno. El senor della a por senales 
un pendon bianco con una cruz bermeja. En^ima esta escripto "Justi^ia" 
desta manera.59 [XXVII] 

Parti de Genova et entre en Lonbardia do son muchas fibdades rricas, 
conviene a saber Medio Lanensis, et Clamona, et Bolofia, morada de los 
philosofos, et Padua, et Panonia, et Pavia, et Burga, et Ravena, et Plazen- 
^ia.^^ Las senales deste rreynado son estas que se siguen, un pendon ver- 
mejo atal.^^ [XXVIII] 

Parti de Lonbardia et entre por Pisa, una tierra muy vif iossa et tenplada. 
El sefior della a por seiiales un pendon todo Colorado. [XXIX] 

Sali de Pisa et entre por Toscana en la qual es una rrica ^ibdat que dizen 
Floren^ia. El seiior della a por senales un pendon bianco con una cruz ber- 
meja atal. [XXX] 



''* In S, a cross with scalloped edges centered on the flag; in each space formed by the arms 
of the cross there is a triangular object. Pasch (12) beUeves that the narrator confiised this with 
the cross on the arms of Toulouse. 

In N and R, a straight cross completely divides the flag into four areas; in each division 
appears the same triangular object. 

^^ Between Narbonne and Montpellier there is no town with a name resembling Malagona. 

^* Letduena is Lyon. The others are Marseilles, Frainet, Nice, Monaco, and the Italian towns 
Albenga and Savona. 

^' Pasch (14) says that the addition of this word is an innovation not found elsewhere. 

^ In Lombardy are found Milan, Cremona, Bologna, Padua, Parma, Pavia, Bergamo, 
Ravenna, and Piacenza. Wright (320) remarks that in the Middle Ages this was the best-known 
region of Italy to those beyond the Alps. The narrator singles out Bologna because of its univer- 
sity, which achieved great fame in the twelfth century for the study of law. 

^' The illustrators of N and R mistakenly have interchanged the arms of Pisa and Piacenza. 
The correct banner of the latter shows a white square on a red background. The flag of Pisa is 
plain red. In S, Piacenza's arms are left blank, and Pisa's are illustrated correcdy. 



The Book of Knowledge 25 

I left Barcelona and went along the shore to the county of Anpuria, and 
from there to the city of Narbona which is on the shore of the Medio Ter- 
rene Sea. The lord of this city has as his insignia a white flag with a ver- 
milion cross like that of Tholosa, and in each quarter an emblem like this 
one, because this city belonged to Don Remondo, Count of Tolosa. And 
it is this one, as follows. [XXVI] 

I departed Narbona and went to Malagona and from there to Mon- 
pesler, and from there I crossed stagnant waters and the Ruedano River and 
went to Arle, a noble and rich city which is in Proen^ia. And beyond the 
shores of the Ruedano is Avifion, a rich city where the Court of Roma and 
the Pope and the Cardinals live. Letduena is also there, a city belonging to 
the King of Fran^ia. Afterwards I went on to Marsella, which is the capital 
of Proen^ia, and I went along the shore to Frenit, and then to Nista, and I 
passed through Monago, and firom there to Arbenga and Saona. And I 
climbed the Mountain of Genova, where there is a rich city they call 
Genova on the shores of the Medio Terreno Sea. The lord of it has as his 
insignia a white flag with a vermilion cross. On it is written "Justicia" in 
this manner. [XXVII] 

I left Genova and entered Lonbardia, where there are many rich cities, 
which are Medio Lanensis, and Clamona, and Bolofia, home of the philoso- 
phers, and Padua, and Panonia, and Pavia, and Burga, and Ravena and Pla- 
zenfia. The insignia of this kingdom is that which follows, a vermiUon flag 
in this manner. [XXVIII] 

I departed Lonbardia and entered Pisa, a very luxurious and temperate 
land. Its lord has as his insignia an entirely red-colored flag. [XXIX] 

I left Pisa and entered Toscana in which there is a rich city they call 
Floren9ia. Its lord has as his insignia a white flag with a vermilion cross in 
this manner. [XXX] 



26 El libro del coNOsgiMiENTO 

Parti de Toscana et fuy me a la noble fibdat de Roma, que es cabe^a 
del inperio de los rromanos. Et corre por ella un rrio que dizen Tibre, que 
nas^e de los Alpes de Albemia et va por la Mar de Ancona^^ et por el pat- 
rimonio, et entra en el Mar Medio Terreno en el puerto de Roma. Et 
destos montes de Albernia nasge otro rrio muy grande que dizen Amo, que 
va por Toscana et va por Floren^ ia et entra en el Mar Mediterraneo en la 
^ibdat de Pisa. Et apres desta Roma son estas fibdades: Veya, et Santa Sedra, 
et Ostia, et Tara^ona, et Gayeta, et Montedragon.^-' Et sabed que Roma 
et Pisa et Toscana et tierra del prin^ipado son entre'l mar Medio Terreno et 
el golfo de Venecia. Et las senales de Roma son un pendon bermejo con 
una vanda de oro con unas letras que dizen Senatus Populusque Romanus, 
et esta cruz blanca ante de las letras, desta manera que se sigue.^"* [XXXI] 

Parti de Roma et fuy me a Romana et por la tierra del prin^ipado, et 
entre en el rreinado de Napol, una tierra muy vi^iosa, et abondada, et ten- 
plada, en la qual son las provin(;:ias de PuUa et de Calabria, en que son muc- 
has fibdades et rricas. Las mayores son Surenti, Salerno, Policastro, Scalea, 
Rezo, Girazo, Cotrun, Tarento, Entranto, Brandizo, Monapoli, Bar, Bar- 
leto, Monfrodoye, Pescara, Schilazo.''^ El Rey de Napol a por senales un 
pendon cardeno con flores de oro por que'l rrey es de la casa de Fran^ia. Et 
enfima es una lista bermeja que dizen el rrestello atal.'*'' [XXXII] 

Party de Napol et pase a la ysla de Qe^ilia, por mar una pequena traviesa, 
una tierra muy vi^iosa et abondada, en que son ocho ^ibdades grandes. Es a 
saber Medina, Catania, Sirracusana, Girenti, Trapana, Palermo, Cafallu, 
Pari.^^ Et el rrey desta Qe^ilia a por senales un pendon a quarterones, los dos 



''- The narrator seems to refer to the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, called 
Ancona because of the city of the same name on its coast. 

^^ Civita Vecchia, Santa Severa, Ostia, Terracina, Gaeta, and Mondragone, all on the west- 
em coast of Italy, near Rome. 

** In S, the initials shown are S P Q B. 

^^ On the coasts of what the author identifies as the regions of Apulia and Calabria are found 
the cities of Sorrento, Salerno, Policastro, Scalea, Reggio, Squillace, Cotrone, Taranto, Otranto, 
Brindisi, Monopoli, Bari, Barletta, Manfi-edonia, and Pescara. He has, in effect, rounded the boot 
from Naples to Pescara. Squillace nevertheless is misplaced at the end of this list; in reality it is 
near the southwestern coast of Italy. 

^ From 1268 to 1442 the Kingdom of Naples was under Angevin rule; in 1282, however, 
Sicily was lost to the Aragonese. 

The arms of Naples are drawn differendy in each of the manuscripts. In S, there are three 
fleurs-de-lis above a band with one scalloped border. N shows the same band with three fleurs- 
de-lis above and six below. R is similar to N, but there are only four fleurs-de-Us below the 
decorative band. 

^^ In Sicily, he purports to visit Messina, Catania, Siracusa, Agrigento, Trapani, Palermo, 
Cefalu, and Patti, rounding the island from its northeast extremity. It was as a result of the 
Sicilian Vespers (1282) that the island came into the hands of the crown of Aragon. 



The Book of Knowledge 27 

I departed Toscana and went to the noble city of Roma, which is the 
capital of the Roman Empire. And a river they call Tibre runs through it and 
begins in the Alpes de Albemia and goes through the Sea of Ancona and the 
patrimony, and enters the Medio Terreno Sea at the port of Roma. And 
from these mountains of Albemia comes another very large river they call the 
Amo, which flows through Toscana and Floren^ia and enters the Medio Ter- 
reno Sea in the city of Pisa. And beyond Roma are these cities: Veya, and 
Santa Sedra, and Ostia, and Taragona, and Gayeta, and Montedragon. Know 
that Roma and Pisa and Toscana and the land of the principality are between 
the Medio Terreno Sea and the Gulf of Venecia. At the insignia of Roma is 
a vermihon flag with a band of gold with letters that say Senatus Populusque 
Romanus, and a white cross before the letters, in the following manner. 
[XXXI] 

I departed Roma and went to Romana and through the land of the 
principaUty, and I entered the Kingdom of Napol, a very luxurious and abun- 
dant and temperate land, in which the provinces of Pulla and Calabria are, in 
which there are many and rich cities. The largest are Surenti, Salerno, Poli- 
castro, Scalea, Rezo, Girazo, Cotrun, Tarento, Entranto, Brandizo, Monapoli, 
Bar, Barleto, Monfrodoye, Pescara, Schilazo. The King of Napol has as his 
insignia a cardinal red flag with gold flowers because he is of the House of 
Franfia. And on the upper part is a vermilion stripe which they call the 1am- 
bel, in this manner. pCXXII] 

I departed Napol and passed on to the island of (^e^ilia, by sea a short 
crossing, and it is a very luxurious and abundant land in which there are eight 
large cities. To wit, Medina, Catania, Sirracusana, Girenti, Trapana, Palermo, 
Ca^u, Pari. And the king of this (^e^ilia has as his insignia a quarterly flag. 



28 El libro del coNOsgiMiENXO 

quartos son blancos con dos aguilas prietas, et los otros dos quartos bastones 
bermejos et amarillos, por que el rrey es de la casa de Aragon. pCXXIII] 

Aqui en Qe9ilia entre en una galea et tomeme a la marisma de Napol, 
a Rezo, desi a Girazo,^*^ et entre a la fibdat de Entrant©, que es en la 
punta del golfo de Venecia. Et entre en el golfo et fuy a Brandiza, et dende 
a Monapoli, et tome la parte esquierda del golfo contra Napol et fuy a 
Barleto, desy a Pescara, et a Antona, et a Revena, et dende a la ^ibdat de 
Venegia, que esta cabo del golfo dentro en la mar. Et confinan sus terminos 
con la Lonbardia, et con la Mar de Ancona, et con tierra del patrimonio, et 
con la parte de Uevante con la Esclavonia.''^ El seiior desta Venecia a por 
sefiales un pendon bianco con un leon bermejo con alas, commo el evange- 
lista Sant Marcos. [XXXIV] 

Despues desto parti de Vene9ia en la dicha galea et tome la marisma 
contra la Esclavonia, et pase por una ^ibdat que dizen Aquylea, et otra que 
dizen Triesa, et dende fuy a Parenzo, et Uegue a una ^ ibdat que dizen Sena 
que es en la Esclavonia, et otra que dizen Jara.^" Et el rrey desta Esclavonia 
a por sefiales un pendon ameitades, en la meitad bermeja que esta ^erca la 
vara esta una estrella blanca, et la otra meitad del cabo es amarilla atal. 
[XXXV] 

En el rreynado de la Esclavonia es una sierra muy alta que dizen los 
Monies de Boxnia, donde na^en quatro rrios muy grandes. Al primero 
dizen flumen Sar, al otro flumen Raba, al otro flumen Ur, al quarto dizen 
flumen Rabeza.^' Et todos estos quatro rrios entran por el rreyno de Ung- 
ria et ayuntanse al grand rrio Danubio que nas9e de las Alpes de Alemana. 
Et sabet que esta sierra Boxnia parte la Germania, et la Pavonia, et la Ung- 
ria, et la sierra esta en medio, et son montes muy poblados de gentes, et 
tierra muy abondada de todas las cosas, pero non son cristianos catholicos. 
Et el senor destos montes a por sefiales tales commo el Rey de la Escla- 
vonia.^2 [XXXVI] 



''* Between Reggio and Otranto there is no city with a name resembhng this, although both 
Jimenez de la Espada and Markham identify it as Girace. 

*' Sebenica, in former Yugoslavia. 

^" The traveler passes through the Itahan towns of Aquileia and Trieste, then continues the 
journey on the eastern side of the Adriatic. Both Jimenez de la Espada and Markham keep the 
name Parenzo, but it is not clear what place this might be, unless it refers to Premantura, a town 
south of Trieste on the same coast. Sena is also difficult to identify, but may be present-day Senj. 
Jara is evidently Zara or Zadar, further south. 

^' In the mountains of Bosnia originate the Rivers Sava, Raab, and Drava. Both Jimenez de 
la Espada and Markham identify Rabeza as a tributary of the Raab. Notice, however, that the 
author beheves that Bosnia is simply the name of a mountain. 

'^ In S, the arms of Bosnia are shown exacdy as the preceding banner of Sebenica. In N and 
R, however, a circle divided by a cross is added to the plain half of the flag. 



The Book of Knowledge 29 

two of whose quarters are white with two black eagles, and [in] the other 
two quarters vermilion and yellow pales, because the king is of the House 
of Aragon. PCXXIII] 

Here in Qefilia I embarked a galley and headed for the shores of Napol, 
to Rezo, [and] from there to Girazo, and I entered the city of Entranto, 
which is on the tip of the gulf of Venecia. And I entered the gulf and went 
to Brandiza, and from there to Monapoli, and I went along the left side of 
the gulf by Napol and went to Barleto, [and] from there to Pescara and to 
Antona and to Ravena, and from there to the city of Venecia, which is at 
the end of the gulf in the sea. And it borders with Lonbardia and with the 
Sea of Ancona, and with the land of the patrimony, and on the eastern side 
with Esclavonia. The lord of this Venecia has as his insignia a white flag 
with a vermilion winged lion, like the Evangelist Saint Mark. [XXXIV] 

After this I departed Venecia in the aforementioned galley and traveled 
the shore by Esclavonia, and I passed by a city they call Aquylea and an- 
other they call Triesa, and from there I went to Parenzo, and arrived at a 
city they call Sena which is in Esclavonia, and another they call Jara. And 
the king of this Esclavonia has as his insignia a flag divided in two vertical 
stripes: in the vermilion stripe near the staflf is a white star, and the other 
stripe is yellow, like this. [XXXV] 

In the Kingdom of Esclavonia there is a very high sierra they call the 
Mountains of Boxnia, where four great rivers originate. The first they call 
the River Sar, the other the River Raba, the other River Ur, the fourth 
the River Rabeza. And all of these four rivers enter the Kingdom of Ungria 
and converge with the great River Danubio that originates in the Alpes de 
Alemafia. Note that this Sierra of Boxnia borders on Alemaiia and Pavonia 
and Ungria, and the sierra is in the center, and these mountains are quite 
populated with people, and the land abundant with all things, but they are 
not Catholic Christians. And the lord of these mountains has as his insignia 
the same as the King of Esclavonia. [XXXVI] 



30 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

E parti de Boxnia et tome a la marisma a la fibdat de Sara, et dende a 
Sinbichon, et a Narent/-' Et el rrey desta tierra a por senales un pendon a 
quarterones, los dos quartos cardenos, et los dos blancos atalesJ'* pOCXVII] 

Con esta Narent confina una fibdat que dizen Dul^emo et con los 
Montes de A^ervya, una tierra muy vi^iosa et abondada. Con este rreynado 
de Afervya confina el rreyno de Bulgaria et el rreyno de Daraze, que son en 
la provin^ia de la Esclavonia. Et destos montes nas^en dos rrios muy 
grandes. Al uno dizen Dranoya, al otro dizen flumen Pirus, los quales entran 
por el rreyno de Ungria et se ayuntan al grand rrio Danubio7^ Et fazen en 
Ungria diez islas, a la primera dizen Ungria la Mayor, onde tomo este non- 
bre el rreyno de Ungria, a la segunda dizen Jaurin, a la ter^era Unda, a la 
quarta Firmia, a la quinta Signa, a la sesta Mafesno, a la septima Drinago, a 
la octava Posga, a la novena Ungria la Menor, a la dezena Servia7^ Et 
todos estos rrios que fazen estas islas entran en la Mar Mayor gerca de una 
fibdat que dizen Ve^ina, de que adelante contare. Et sabet que en esta 
Ungria son muchas 9ibdades et rricas, es a saber Ungria, (^evana, Casot, 
Biver, Castro Ferrun, Jaurin, Servia, Strugonun, Bagamos, Beat, Drinago, 
Saladino, Myrria, et otras muchas. Este rreinado de Ungria parte con 
Gre^ia, et con Alemana, et con la Esclavonia, et con Palonia, et con Bul- 
garia. Et las senales deste rreynado es un pendon ameitades, la una meitat 
con flores de Franfia por que es el rrey de la casa de Fran^ia, et la otra 
meitad vandas bermejas et blancas desta manera. pCXXVIII] 

Party del rreino de Ungria et tome a la marisma a una fibdat que dizen 
Durazo, et sobi en una nao et flie a la Isla de la Morea. Et son en ella siete 
fibdades grandes, es a saber Trareoza, Patris, Coranto, et Neapoli, et Marbaxa, 



'^ From Zara, the narrator travels south along the Adriatic coast to Gabela. Of the latter, 
Jimenez de la Espada (232) remarks that its former name was Narona or Narbona, for its 
proximity to the River Neretva. 

''* In R, the artist has drawn diagonal lines through both white quarters. Markham (plate 8, 
facing p. 17) indicates that the arms of Narent are different in each of the manuscripts: for S and 
R he shows flags with a large center cross (more like a da^er in S) surrounded by four smaller 
crosses. In fact, the only difference among the three manuscripts is the addition in R of the 
diagonal lines mentioned above. Pasch (19), who apparendy had no 6rst-hand experience with 
any of the codices, copies all three banners in the manner of Markham. 

^^ Near the former Narona was the city of Dulcigno (Jimenez de la Espada 229). Durazzo 
(Durres) is a city on the eastern coast of Albania. The first of the rivers is the Drava, but Jimenez 
de la Espada (240) maintains that the Pirus is a fictional body of water. 

^''Jimenez de la Espada (265) refers to these as "peninsulas fluviales." 



The Book of Knowledge M 

And I departed Boxnia and went down the shore to the city of Sara, 
and from there to Sinbichon and to Narent. And the king of this land has 
as his insignia a quartered flag, two [of its] quarters cardinal red, and two 
white, Hke these. pOCXVII] 

This Narent borders on a city they call Dul^emo and the Mountains of 
Afervya, a rich and abundant land. This kingdom of A^ ervya borders on 
the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Daraze, which are in the 
province of Esclavonia. And in these mountains two very large rivers 
originate. One they call Dranoya, the other they call the river Pirus, which 
enter the Kingdom of Ungria and converge with the great River Danubio. 
And in Ungria they form ten islands: the first they call Ungria Major, which 
took this name from the Kingdom Ungria, the second they call Jaurin, the 
third Unda, the fourth Firmia, the fifth Signa, the sixth Ma^esno, the sev- 
enth Drinago, the eighth Posga, the ninth Ungria Minor, the tenth Servia. 
And all the rivers that form these islands enter the Great Sea near a city they 
call Ve^ina, about which I will tell further on. Know that in this Ungria 
there are many rich cities, to wit, Ungria, (^evana, Casot, Biver, Castro 
Ferrun, Jaurin, Servia, Strugonun, Bagamos, Beat, Drinago, Saladino, Myr- 
ria, and many others. This Kingdom of Ungria borders on Grefia and Ale- 
maiia and Esclavonia and Palonia and Bulgaria. And the insigne of this 
kingdom is a flag per pale, one pale with the flowen of Fran^ia because the 
king is of the House of Fran^ia, and the other pale [with] vermilion and 
white bands in this manner. [XXXVIII] 

I departed the Kingdom of Ungria and went along the shore to a city 
they call Durazo, and I embarked a ship and went to the island of Morea. 
And there are on it seven large cities, to wit, Trareoza, Patris, Coranto, and 



32 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

et Colon, et Mutam7^ El prin^ipe desta ysla a por senales estas que se si- 
guen, un pendon bianco con esta senal amarilla perfilada de vermejo7^ 
[XXXIX] 

Parti de la isla de la Morea et fuy a la isla de Rodas do es una rrica 
^ibdat que dizen Creta7^ Esta isla es de la Orden de Sant lohn, e tales son 
sus senales, commo estas que aqui se siguen, un pendon vermejo con una 
cruz blanca atal commo esta.^^ [XL] 

Salli de la isla de Rodas et fuy a la isla de Candia, et dende a otra isla 
que dizen Negro Ponte, que ganaron los vene^ianos. Et dexe a la mano 
siniestra la entrada de la Mar Mayor^* et de Costantinopla, de que adelante 
contare, et fiiy a una fibdat que dizen Satalia,^^ que era de cristianos grie- 
gos. Et esta Satalia a por senales un pendon con ondas blancas et cardenas, 
et ferca de la vara un signo atal.*^-^ [XLI] 

La fibdat de Satalia et Sinbichon, de que ya conte de suso, et las otras 
que dire fasta Armenia la Menor,^'^ son todas en la provinfia de la Tur- 
quya, la qual antigua mente dezian Asia la Menor, do son muchas provin^ias 
departidas et muchos senorios que son graves de contar porque esta 
Turquya llega fasta el Mar Mayor. Et sabet que es tierra muy rrica de todos 
bienes abondada. Et las senales de Turquia son estas que se siguen, un pen- 
don a meytades, la meytad amarilla con esta senal vermeja, et la otra meytad 
blanca con finco cruzes vermejas atales commo estas.^^ [XLII] 

Fuy me por la marisma desta Turquia a una fibdat que dizen Candebor, 
et dende a otra que dizen Antro^eta, et a Corincho. Et en esta Turquya son 



"^ Some of the cities on Morea (Peloponnesus) seem to be Troezen, Patrai, Corinth, 
Neapohs, and Monemvasia; Colon and Mutam are more difficult to identify. 

^^ The emblem in question is a circle that contains arcing spokes, as depicted in N and R. 
The flag is left blank in S. Markham (plate 8, facing p. 17) mistakes the foUowing coat of arms 
in N, which belongs to Rhodes, for that of Morea. 

^^ Notice that the narrator believes that Crete is a city on Rhodes. 

"" The Knights of St. John (Hospitallers) were a religious military order originally dedicated 
to caring for the sick. Later they became a purely military order whose purpose was defending 
pilgrims to the Holy Land. The Knights conquered Rhodes in 1307 and formed an independent 
feudal state there. The banner mentioned here was their coat of arms. Only its outline can be 
seen in S. 

"' Candia is Crete, and the body of water the narrator heads toward is the Black Sea. 

^^ Satalia (Adalia) was on the southern coast of Asia Minor. 

^^ S illustrates a flag completely covered with waves, on which is superimposed a six-point 
star. Both N and R divide the banner, with the star above and waves below. 

^ Armenia Minor is the ancient Cilicia. 

*' Only the oudine of the flag is shown in S; Markham (plate 9, facing p. 19) nevertheless 
provides an illustration he labels as being from this manuscript. N and R depict vertically divided 
flags: on the left, a cross (a dagger in R) surrounded by four smaller crosses; on the right, a red 
square on a yellow field. 



The Book of Knowledge 33 

Neapoli, and Marbaxa and Colon and Mutam. The prince of this island has 
as his insignia the one that follows, a white flag with this yellow emblem 
outlined in vermilion. [XXXIX] 

I departed the island of Morea and went to the island of Rodas, where 
there is a rich city they call Creta. This island is of the Order of Saint John, 
and this is its insignia, like the one that follows, a vermilion flag with a 
white cross like this one. \XL] 

I left the island of Rodas and went to the island of Candia, and from 
there to another island they call Negro Ponte, that the Venecians con- 
quered. And I left on my left side the entrance to the Great Sea and to 
Constantinopla, about which I will tell further on, and I went to a city they 
call Satalia, which belonged to Greek Christians. And this Satalia has as its 
insignia a flag with gold and cardinal red bars wavy, and near the stafi" an 
emblem like this one. [XLI] 

The city of Satalia and Sinbichon, about which I already told above, and 
the other cities about which I will tell up to Armenia Minor, are all in the 
province of Turquya, which they formerly called Asia Minor, where there 
are many scattered provinces and many lordships that are difiicult to enu- 
merate, because this Turquya extends to the Great Sea. Note that it is a 
land rich and abundant in all things. And the insignia of Turquia is the one 
that follows, a flag per pale, one pale yellow with this vermilion emblem, 
and the other half white with five vermiHon crosses like these. [XLII] 

I went along the shore of this Turquia to a city they call Candebor, and 
from there to another they call Antro^eta and to Corincho. And in this 



34 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

muchas provin^ias departidas: Escapado^ia, Feli9ia, Boes^ia, Vitilia, Gala, 
Qililidia, Frigia do es Troya, Panfilia, Isauria.^^ El rrey desta tierra a por 
senales un pendon prieto con 9inco cruzes blancas atales. [XLIII] 

Salli de Corincho et fuy a una ^ibdat que dizen Feradelfia o Feradel- 
fin,^^ la qual confina con los terminos de Troya, la que destruyo el rrey 
Menalao de Grefia. Et antigua mente esta Troya era cabe^a de toda Asia la 
Menor, que agora dizen Turquia. Et sus senales son un pendon ameytades, 
la una meitad blanca con una cruz bermeja tal, et la otra meitat amarilla con 
una quadra bermeja atal.^^ 

En esta Turquia ay otra provin^ia que dizen Cunio en que ay una rrica 
fibdat que dizen Cunyo, con muchas tierras.*^^ Et el rrey dende a por 
senales un pendon con ondas blancas et bermejas tales. [XLIV] 

Otrosi en esta Turquia es otra provin^ia que dizen Savasco. Et antigua 
mente dezian a esta Turquia Savasco, et tomo este nonbre de una fibdat 
que dizen Savasco, que antigua mente era cabe^a de las otras ^ibdades. Et a 
esta 9 ibdat de Savasco dezian antigua mente Samaria.^*^ Aun agora es Sa- 
vasco cabe^a del rreynado, et a por seiiales un pendon bianco con finco 
cruzes bermejas atales. pCLV] 

En esta Turquia son dos ^ibdades a la parte de Armenia la Menor, que 
dizen a la una Chotay, et a la otra Silia.^^ Parti dende et entre en Armenia 
la Menor, la qual es toda ^ercada de montes muy altos que dizen los Montes 
de Arme^iia, et dentro de los montes es tierra liana en que son trezientas et 
sesenta villas, et castillos, et logares, et es rribera del Mar Medio Terreno en 
el logar do acaba. Et sabed que antigua mente dezian a esta Armenia la Isla 
de Colcos, por que en esta Armenia entra un golfo del mar en que esta una 
isla pequena, et dizenle Porto Bonel.'^ Et aquy fue el tenplo donde estava 
el camero dorado encantado, el qual desencanto Jason el griego. Et dentro 



"* Both Jimenez de la Espada and Markham believe that Candebor is present-day Alanya, on 
Turkey's south coast, followed by Antioch and another city difficult to identify. The provinces 
referred to are Cappadocia, Cilicia, Boeotia (a geographic error, according to Jimenez de la 
Espada 184), Bithynia, Galatia, a repeat of Cilicia, Phrygia, Pamphilia, and Isauria. 

^' Philadelphia, in Phrygia (Turkey). 

"^ Markham (plate 10, facing p. 20) interchanges this and the following banner (Iconium). 
The square (cuadra) does not seem to be a heraldic device. 

*' Iconium (Konya). 

'" Savasco was the ancient name for Turkey. Jimenez de la Espada (248—49) beheves that the 
narrator erred in calling this city Samaria, confusing it with a place in modern Jordan (now Se- 
bastiyah). 

" If Chotay refers to Kiitahya (as Jimenez de la Espada and Markham would have it), it is 
out of place in the area described by the author. The other city may be Cilicia. 

'-Jimenez de la Espada and Markham affirm that there is such an island as Port Bonel in the 
small gulf near the ancient city of Alexandretta, now called Iskenderun (Turkey). 



The Book of Knowledge 35^ 

Turquya there are many scattered provinces: Escapado9ia, Felicia, Boes^ia, 
Vitilia, Gala, (^ililidia, Frigia, where Troya is, Pamfilia, Isauria. The king of 
this land has as his insignia a black flag with five white crosses like these. 
[XLIII] 

I left Corincho and went to a city they call Feradelfia or Feradelfin, 
which borders on the Hmits of Troya, which King Menalaus of Greece de- 
stroyed. And in ancient times this Troya was the capital of all Asia Minor, 
which they now call Turquia. And its insignia is a flag per pale, one pale 
white with a vermilion cross, the other pale yellow with a vermilion square 
like this. 

In this Turquia there is another province they call Cunio in which there 
is a rich city they call Cunyo, which has many lands. And its king has as his 
insignia a flag with white and vermilion bars wavy in this manner. [XLIV] 

Also in this Turquia there is another province they call Savasco. And in 
ancient times they called Turquia Savasco, and it took this name from a city 
they call Savasco, that was formerly the capital of the other cities. And they 
formerly called this city of Savasco Samaria. Savasco is still the head of the 
kingdom, and has as his insignia a white flag with five vermiUon crosses, in 
this manner. [XLV] 

In this Turquia there are two cities on the side of Armenia Minor, [and] 
they call one Chotay and the other Silia. I departed there and entered 
Armenia Minor, which is entirely surrounded by very high mountains that 
they call the Mountains of Armenia, and within the mountains is a flat land 
in which there are three hundred sixty towns and castles and villages, and 
it is on the coast of the Medio Terreno Sea in the place where it ends. 
Know that they formerly called this Armenia the Isla de Colcos, because 
into this Armenia there enters a gulf of the sea in which there is a small 
island, and they call it Port Bonel. And here there was a temple where the 
enchanted golden ram was found, whose spell was undone by Jason the 



36 El libro del coNOsgiMiENXo 

en Armenia son quatro fibdades grandes, es a saber Laiso, Curquo, et Tarso, 
et Si^ia, et Danabu.^^ El rrey dende a por senales un pendon bianco con 
un leon vermejo en canpo bianco atal commo este.^"* [XLVI] 

Apres desta Armenia es la isla Chipre, et en esta Chipre son quatro fib- 
dades grandes. La primera dizen Famagosta, a la otra Nycoxia, a la otra La- 
miso, a la otra Bafa.'^^ Et el Rey de Chipre a por senales un pendon amey- 
tades, la una meytad cardena con flores de oro porque el rrey es de la casa 
de Franfia, et la otra meytad finco cruzes bermejas atales.^'' [XLVII] 

Sale desta Chipre una punta que dizen la punta de Santander et dende 
fasta Alixandreta, una ^ibdat de la Suria son treynta et seys millas, et parti de 
Chipre et fuy Alixandreta et dende a Antiocha, una noble ^ibdat et rrica, la 
qual ganaron los firan^eses quando conquistaron la Suria. A esta Antiocha 
dezian antigua mente Repeleta. Et dende fuy a Solin et a Tortosa, et dende 
a Tripul de la Suria, et dende fuy a Solin, la que ganaron don Remondo, 
Conde de Tolosa, padre de don Alfonso Enperador de Espaiia.^^ Et dende 
fuy a Eburut et dende a la ^ibdat de Acre, que era de los frailes de San Juan, 
et dende fuy a (^esaria et a Escalona. Et a esta Escalona dezian antigua 
mente Palestina. Et fuy al puerto de Jafa donde toman el camino los pele- 
grinos para Iherusalem.'^^ Et sabet que en la Suria son estas fibdades que 
dichas son, con otras muchas villas et logares et castillos. En la Suria son 
finco montes altos. Al primero dizen el Monte de Libano, donde salen dos 
rrios que dizen al uno Jor, al otro Dan, et ayuntanse amos et dizenles 
Jordan. Esta tierra por do corre el rrio Jordan dezian antigua mente Tiberia, 



'^ The first four were cities in southern Turkey, and the last is exclusive to S. 

'^ S mistakenly gives the arms of Cyprus (which is the next land described) in this place. 
Markham (pbte 10, facing p. 20) includes only this erroneous banner, ignoring the Hon rampant 
of N and R, and Pasch (21) follows suit. 

''^ Famagusta, Nicosia, Limassol, and Paphos. From 1376 to 1464, Famagusta was the 
dominion of the Genoese. 

"" The oudine is drawn but left blank in S. Markham, nevertheless, depicts the flag as in N 
and R (verticaUy), then labels it S. As we mentioned in n.94, S erroneously attributed the 
Cypriote arms to "Armenia la Menor," which Markham shows on the same plate, next to the 
flag of Cyprus, but as a horizontal banner; the similarity which would have revealed his mistake 
does not seem to have occurred to him. 

'^ The country in question is Syria. Antioch was the site of a patriarchal seat of the early 
church and of a long struggle during the First Crusade, when it was captured in 1098. After 
Antioch, the narrator's dubious itinerary takes him south to Seleucia (Samandagi), then north to 
Tarsus (both in Turkey), before heading south again to Tripoli (now Tarabulus, Lebanon). The 
Franks established themselves in this area after the First Crusade. The Don Remondo referred 
to here was the father of Alfonso, Conde de Tolosa, not of Alfonso VII of Castile, as the author 
would have it. 

''" Continuing south along the Mediterranean coast, the traveler arrives in Beirut, Acre (now 
Akko), Caesarea, and Ashqelon, which were commercial centers at the times of the Crusades. 



The Book of Knowledge 37^ 

Greek. And within Armenia there are four large cities, to wit, Laiso, 
Curquo, and Tarso, and Sifia, and Danabu. Its king has as his insignia a 
white flag with a vermiUon Hon in a field of white, like this one. [XLVI] 

After this Armenia is the island Chipre, and on this Chipre there are 
four large cities. The first they call Famagosta, the other Nycoxia, the other 
Lamiso, the other Bafa. And the King of Chipre has as his insignia a flag per 
pales, one pale cardinal red with gold flowers because the king is of the 
House of Franfia, and the other pale [has] five vermilion crosses like these. 
[XLVII] 

Jutting firom this Chipre is a point that they call the Point of Santander, 
and fi-om there to Alixandreta, a city in Suria, there are thirty-six miles; and 
I departed Chipre and went to Alixandreta and firom there to Antiocha, a 
noble and rich city, which the French took when they conquered Suria. 
They formerly called this Antiocha Repeleta. And fi-om there I went to 
Solin and to Tortosa, and fi-om there to Tripul de la Suria, and from there 
to Solin, which was conquered by Don Remundo, Count of Tolosa, father 
of Don Alfonso Emperor of Espafia. And fi-om there I went to Eburut and 
firom there to the city of Acre, which belonged to the fiiars of Saint John, 
and from there I went to Qesaria and to Escalona. And they formerly called 
this Escalona Palestina. And I went to the port of Jafa where the pilgrims set 
oflffor Iherusalem. And know that these aforementioned cities are in Suria, 
with many other towns and villages and castles. In Suria there are five high 
mountains. They call the first the Mount of Libano, where two rivers origi- 
nate, which they call Jor and the other Dan, and they both converge and 
they call them Jordan. This land through which the River Jordan flows was 



38 El libro del conoscimiento 

despues le dixeron Siria. Et corren por medio de la Suria et fazen dos lagos 
muy grandes, al uno dizen el Mar Muerto et al otro el Mar de Galilea. Et 
afirman que en estos dos lagos fueron las dos fibdades que dezian Sodoma 
et Gomorra. Et en estos dos lagos se sume el rrio que non pare^e mas. Al 
otro monte dizen Monte Ermon, al otro Monte Galat, al otro Monte Abra- 
ren, al otro Seyr.'^'^ Et sabet que en esta Suria es la ^ibdat de Iherusalem 
que fue santificada por el santo tenplo que fizo en ella Salamon, el qual fue 
consagrado por la sangre de Nuestro Senor Jesu Cristo. Et esta tierra de 
Iherusalem antigua mente fue dicha Cananea porque fue de Can, fijo de 
Noe, et despues ovo nonbre Judea, de Juda fijo de Jaco. Et sabed que esta 
provinfia ganaron los fran^eses quando la conquysta de ultra mar. Las 
seiiales desta provin^ia son un pendon todo bianco con cruzes bermejas en 
canpo bianco, desta manera.'™' [XL VIII] 

Con la Suria parte la tierra de Jafet, et con esta Jafet parte terminos la 
fibdat de Damasco, que es fibdat muy rrica et abondada de todos los 
bienes. Et corre por esta Damasco el flumen Eufrates, et antiguamente le 
dezian Lairag.^"^ Et el rrey dende a por sefiales un pendon amarillo con 
una luna blanca desta manera.'^^ [XLIX] 

Otrosi con la Suria confma Egipto. Antigua mente le dezian Egipto 
Exia. Et dende vine por la marisma a un puerto que's en la Suria que dizen 
el Puerto de la Risa, et dende vine al Puerto Descrion, et dende al Puerto 
de Tenexe que es ya en Egipto. Et tome camino contra el poniente et vine 
a Damianta, una noble fibdat, et ^erca la toda el flumen Nilus.'"-^ Et sabet 
que aquy fue cativo el Rey de Frangia et desbaratado quando paso a la con- 
quista de Ultra Mar.^^'* Et rribera de este flumen Nilus esta asentada la 



'^' The area now near the Syrian-Lebanese border. Presently Mount Hermon is called Jabal 
ash-Shaykh. 

'"" N and R correctly depict the flag described here. S, however, shows a banner divided 
into four parts by a cross; each of the resulting fields also contains a cross. According to Pasch 
(22), the true coat of arms of Jerusalem is like the one illustrated in S. Nevertheless, he copies 
the banner provided by Markham (plate 1 1 , facing p. 22) which shows the arms as they appear 
in N or R, but which he has labeled S; Pasch, therefore erroneously believes that the artist of S 
has drawn a fanciful flag, although it is only correct in S. 

"" Damascus was a well-irrigated market and holy city which reached its greatest moment 
in the thirteenth century. Lairag, according to Jimenez de la Espada (217), was called Al-Hirac 
(Iraq). 

'"^ All three manuscripts show the same shape flag, triangular with rounded edges. Markham 
provides a rectangular banner with a scalloped edge, which is the coat of arms of Luchon as it 
appears in S below. 

'"■' The traveler is in the area of El Arish, firom which he continues to Damietta. 

'"'' Louis IX held Damietta in 1248—49, and was taken prisoner near there in April of 1250 
(Markham 22, Wright 300, Jimenez de la Espada 132). 



The Book of Knowledge 39 

formerly called Tiberia, and afterward they called it Siria. And they run 
through the middle of Suria and form two great lakes; they call one the 
Dead Sea and the other the Sea of Galilea. And they confirm that in these 
two lakes were the two cities they called Sodoma and Gomorra. And in 
these two lakes the river submerges and disappears. The other mountain 
they call Mount Ermon, the other Mount Galat, the other Mount Abraren, 
the other Seyr. And know that in this Suria is the city of Iherusalem that 
was sanctified by the sacred temple that Solomon built in it, [the temple] 
sanctified by the blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And this land of Iheru- 
salem was in ancient times called Cananea because it belonged to Cam, son 
of Noah, and afterward it was named Judea, for Judah, son of Jacob. And 
know that the French took this province during the Great Overseas 
Expedition. The insignia of this province is an entirely white flag with 
vermilion crosses in a field of white, in this manner. [XLVIII] 

Suria borders on the land of Jafet, and Jafet borders on the city of 
Damasco, which is a city rich and abundant in all things. And through this 
Damasco the River Eufirates flows, and they formerly called it Lairag. And 
its king has as his insignia a yellow flag with a white moon in this manner. 
[XLIX] 

Suria also borders Egipto. In ancient times they called Egipto Exia. And 
firom there I came along the coast to a port that is in Suria, that they call 
the Port of La Risa, and from there I came to Port Descrion, and fi-om 
there to Port Tenexe, which is in Egipto. And I set off" toward the west and 
came to Damianta, a noble city, and the River Nilus completely surrounds 
it. And note that the King of Fran^ia was taken captive and defeated when 
he went on the Great Overseas Expedition. And on the shores of this River 



40 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

grand 9ibdat de Alcaira, do coronan los rreyes de Egipto, et aquy fue coro- 
nado Melicnas^ar, el sefior de los turcos magnos, que llaman el Soldan de 
Egipto. Et en esta Alcaara sobre dicha son quatro pueblos. Al primero dizen 
Alcaara, al otro Babilonia por que la poblaron los que escaparon de la de- 
struy9ion de Babilonia, el otro dizen Roda, el quarto dizen Lajuza.'"^ Et 
las senales deste rreinado son un pendon bianco et en medio una luna de 
azul atal. [L] 

Party de Alcaira et fuyme por la marisma a la fibdat de Alixandria, que 
es noble ^ibdat et rrica. Et desta Alixandria fasta la isla de Roxeto'^^^' son 
diez leguas, todo poblado de aldeas. El rrey della a por senales un pendon 
amarillo et en medio una rrueda prieta, et en la rrueda un leon pardo atal. 
[LI] 

Parti de Alixandria et vineme por la marisma ayuso al puerto de Ribas 
Alvas, et dende a Partalbert, et fuy a una ^ibdat que dizen Luchon.^^^ Et 
el rrey della a por sefiales una seiial amarilla con una luna blanca atal. [LII] 

Parti de Luchon et fuy al Puerto de Tarabut, et dende vine a Mon de 
Barcas, et a Bona Andrea, que es en medio de la Berberia, et dende a 
Tolometa, que es rribera del mar.'"^ El rrey dende a por senales unos to- 
vajones amarillos en ^ima de una lan^a fechos en esta manera.'"*^ [LIU] 

De Tolometa fuy a Brenichon et a Zunara. Et en esta Zunara faze la 
mar un grand golfo que llaman el Golfo de Sfin. Et con los terminos desta 
Zunara confinan los Montes Claros que los antiguos dizen Carena, de que 
adelante diremos quando fablaremos de la tierra firme. Et party del Golfo de 
S^in et fuy a Puerto Magro et dende fuy a Tripul de la Berberia. Et dizenle 
Tripul por que confina con los montes de Tripolitana. Et esta Tripul es una 
rrica ^ibdat.^'" El rrey della a por sefiales un pendon bianco con una palma 
verde et dos 11a ves bermejas atales. [LIV] 

Parti de Tripul a Rahasa et dende a Capiz, et a Faquiz, et desi a Africa, 
una rrica fibdat. Et sabet que a treinta et seis millas desta Africa es la grand 



'"^ Malek Nasser was crowned in Cairo after he defeated the Mongols in Damascus in 1 303. 
He died in 1341, a fact not mentioned here, which might indicate that it was a relatively recent 
event. The towns (or sections of Cairo) are: Cairo, Babilonia of Egypt, Roddah, and El Giza. 

'"^ Rachid, formerly Rosetta. 

'"^ He continues along the coast of North Africa. 

'"* This is the north coast of Libya, heading west toward the Barbary Coast. 

'"■^ Tovajones do not seem to be a usual heraldic device. In the drawing that follows they re- 
semble long, fringed sashes. 

"" The traveler now finds himself in the area of Benghazi and the Gulf of Sirte (Libya). The 
Montes Cbros are the Adas Mountains, in present-day Morocco and Algeria. Puerto Magro 
might refer to Leptis Magna, an ancient town just east of Tripoli, where the narrator is headed 
next. 



The Book of Knowledge 41_ 

Nilus is seated the great city of Alcaira, where they crown the kings of 
Egipto, and here Malek Nasser was crowned, who was the lord of the great 
Turks, and whom they call the Sultan of Egipto. And in this aforemen- 
tioned Alcaara there are four towns. They call the first Alcaara, the other 
Babilonia because those who escaped the destruction of Babilonia founded 
it, the other Roda, [and] they call the fourth Lajuza. And the insignia of 
this kingdom is a white flag with a blue moon in the center, like this. [L] 

I departed Alcaira and went along the coast to the city of Alixandria, 
which is a noble and rich city. And between this Alixandria and the island 
Roxeto there are ten leagues, all populated with villages. Its king has as his 
insignia a yellow flag with a black wheel in the center, and in the wheel a 
brown lion, like this. [LI] 

I departed Alixandria and came southward along the coast to the Port of 
Ribas Alvas, and fi-om there to Partalbert, and I went to a city they call Lu- 
chon. And its king has as his insignia a yellow flag with a white moon, in 
this way. [LI I] 

I departed Luchon and went to the Port of Tarabut, and firom there I 
came to Mon de Barcas, and to Bon Andrea, which is in the middle of Ber- 
beria, and firom there to Tolometa, which is on the seacoast. Its king has as 
his insignia yellow sashes atop a lance, done in this manner. [LIII] 

From Tolometa I went to Brenichon and to Zunara. And in this Zunara 
the sea forms a great gulf that they call the Gulf of S^in. And Zunara bor- 
ders on the White Mountains that the ancients called Carena, of which we 
will speak further on when we speak o( terra firma. And I departed the Gulf 
of Sfin and went to Port Magro and fi-om there to Tripul de Berberia. And 
they call it Tripul because it borders the Tripolitana Mountains. And this 
Tripul is a rich city. Its king has as his insignia a white flag with a green 
palm tree and two vermilion keys, like these. [LIV] 

I departed Tripul for Rahasa, and from there to Capiz, and to Faquiz, 
and firom there to Afi-ica, a rich city. And know that thirty-six miles firom 
this Afirica is the great tower they call Ligen, and fi-om this tower Ligen to 



42 El libro del conoscimiento 

torre que dizen Ligen, et desta torre Ligen fasta Alcarahuan do se tomo 
moro Mahomat son quarenta millas. Et sabet que en esta Alcarahuan fue 
desbaratado Alboa^en, rrey de toda Africa fasta el poniente, et fueron rro- 
bados todos sus rreales.^" Et el Rey de Africa a por seiiales un pendon 
bianco con una luna cardena atal. [LV] 

Dende vine me para C^ufia^'^ et dende para Tunez, que es una grand 
fibdat, et rrica, et muy abondada, et es cabe^a de toda la Berberia. El rrey 
dende a por senales un pendon bianco con una luna prieta tal. [LVI] 

Apres desta Tunez es la Isla de Qerdena, que es una grand tierra en que 
son dos montes muy altos. Al uno dizen Mons Barvaria, et al otro dizen 
Mons Arbolea.^^^ El Rey de Qerdefia a por seiiales bastones del Rey de 
Aragon, commo estos. [LVII] 

Apres de ^erdefia es otra isla que dizen Cor^ega. Las senales dende son 
un pendon bianco con una cruz bermeja, por que la ganaron los ginoveses 
a los catalanes.^^"* Et por eso an oy dia guerra con ellos. [LVIII] 

Dende tome a Bona donde frie obispo Sant Agostin.^'^ Es una rrica 
fibdat. El rrey della a por seiiales un pendon bianco con una luna prieta 
atal. [LIX] 

Parti de Bona et friy a la gibdat de Costantina,'''' la qual es toda ^er- 
cada de un rrio enderredor. El Rey de Costantina a por seiiales un pendon 
ameitades bianco et amarillo atal. [LX] 

Sali de Costantina et vine a una fibdat que dizen Astora, et dende Al- 
corn, et Gigar, et Uegue a Bugia. Et pasa por ella un rrio que dizen Guadal- 
quiujr,''^ et es ^ibdat muy frierte et antigua. Et el rrey desta Bugia a por 
senales un pendon bermejo con una ballesta amarilla atal. [LXI] 

Parti de Bugia et vine a Titeliz, et dende a Arguer, et desi a Brischan, 



'"Jimenez de la Espada (132) remarks on the historical error that places Mohammed in this 
area, which he did not visit. After TripoH the narrator continues to the coast of Tunisia. Ligem, 
according to Jimenez de la Espada (261) was a fortress. Abu-1-Hasan was defeated by Ahmed, an 
Almohad, in Qairouan in 1348. This is one of the latest events mentioned in this book. 

"^ Sousse, on the Tunisian coast south of Tunis. 

'" It is unclear to which mountains the narrator refers. 

"^ The author is referring to the 1347 Genoese takeover of Corsica, one of the latest 
historical occurrences mentioned in the text. 

"'' After Sardinia and Corsica, the traveler returns to the north coast of Africa, to what is 
now Annaba (Algeria); it was called Hippo in ancient times. 

'"* Markham (25) remarks that in 31 1 A.D. Constantine restored this town after a civil war 
with Maxentius. 

"^ These are towns between Constantine and Bejaiia, all in the north of modem Algeria. 



The Book of Knowledge 43 

Alcarahuan, where Mohammed became a Moor, there are forty miles. And 
know that in the Alcarahuan Abu-1-Hasan was defeated, [who was] king of 
all Africa toward the west, and all his military camps were taken. And the 
King of Africa has as his insignia a white flag with a cardinal red moon, like 
this. [LV] 

From there I came to Qu^ia and from there to Tunez, which is a great 
city, and rich and very abundant, and it is the capital of all Berberia. Its 
king has as his insignia a white flag with a black moon, like this. [LVI] 

Beyond this Tunez is the island of (^erdena, which is a great land that has 
two high mountains. They call one Mons Bavaria, and they call the other 
Mons Arbolea. The King of (^erdefia has as his insignia the pales of the King 
of Aragon, like these. [LVII] 

After ^erdena there is another island they call Cor^ega. Its insignia is a 
white flag with a vermilion cross, because the Genoese took it from the 
Catalans. And for that reason there is war between them today. [LVIII] 

From there I went to Bona where Saint Augustine was bishop. It is a rich 
city. Its king has as his insignia a white flag with a black moon, like this. 
[LIX] 

I departed Bona and went to the city of Costantina, which is totally 
surrounded by a river. The King of Costantina has as his insignia a flag per 
pales white and yellow, like this. [LX] 

I left Costantina and came to a city they call Astora, and from there 
Alcom and Gigar, and I arrived at Bugia. And through it runs a river they 
call Guadalquivyr, and it is a strong and ancient city. And the king of this 
Bugia has as his insignia a vermihon flag with a yellow crossbow, like this. 
[LXI] 

I departed Bugia and came to Titeliz and from there to Arguer, and 



44 El libro del coNOsgiMiENTO 

una ^ibdat rribera del mar.''^ El rrey della a por senales un pendon bianco 
con un signo tal commo aquy esta.^^^ [LXII] 

Sally desta Brischan et pase a la isla de Mayorca en la qual es una noble 
fibdat, et rrica, et abondada. El rrey della a por senales bastones verdes 
prietos.'^o [LXIII] 

De Mayorca torneme a la rribera et fuy a Tensse et Algezer, et desi a 
Maganga, et a Oran, et a Sersel, que son del rreynado de Treme^en, el qual 
es entre el Mar Medio Terreno et los Montes de Carena, que dizen los 
Montes Claros. Et sabet que sobresta Treme^en mataron a Beacob, rrey del 
poniente.^^^ El Rey de Treme^en ha por senales un pendon bianco con 
una luna azul. [LXIV] 

Parti de Treme^en et tome a Une (et a esta Une dezian Numedia), 
dende al rrio de Miluya, desi a Alcudia et a Mo^ena, et dende a Bediz, et 
llegue a la fuerte fibdat de Qepta. Et sabet que (^epta es en derecho de 
Algezira et de Gibraltar, logares del rreino de Espaiia. Et pasa entre esta 
^epta et Gibraltar el golfo del mar que Uaman el Mediterraneo. Et porque 
va el mar en aquel lugar mucho estrecho, llaman los Estrechos de Marruecos 
et el Angostura del Lazocaque.^^^ El rrey desta 9ibdat a por senales un 
pendon bermejo con dos Haves blancas atales. [LXV] 

Salli de Qepta et fuy ver la noble ^ibdat de Fez do moran sienpre los 
Reyes de Benamarin. Et corre por ella un rrio que llaman Fexe, et nas^e de 
los Montes Claros, et entra en la Mar del Poniente apres de una fibdat que 
dizen ^ale.^^-' Et en esta Fez coronan los rreyes. Aquy fazen su morada. 
El rrey dende a por senales un pendon todo bianco. [LXVI] 



"" The first two are Dellys and Alger, but it is not clear what coastal town Brischan might 
be. South of Constantine there is a city named Biskra, but it is not on the shore, as the author 
would have it. 

'" The emblem shown is a six-point star. In S, the points are ornamented with curls; in R, 
they are not, and a heart pierced by an arrow appears at its center. Because of a lacuna in N, the 
flag does not appear. 

'^" In 1375 Pedro IV of Aragon annexed Mallorca, thus changing the colors of the flag fi-om 
green and black (sinople and sable) pales to red and yellow (gules and or). This might suggest 
that the book was written before that date. Although the flag is only an outline in S, Markham 
(plate 13, facing p. 25) nevertheless illustrates it as described, then labels it S. 

'^' The narrator returns to Algeria after visiting Mallorca, arriving in Mostaganem, Oran, and 
Tlemcen. According to Markham (25), Abu Yakub Yusuf Almansor, a Benimerin king, was 
assassinated by a slave here in 1307 after a conflict with Abu Said, King of Tlemcen. Pasch (23) 
reports that the kingdom of Tlemcen was founded in 1285 and lasted until 1554. 

'^- The traveler continues west on the north coast of Africa, stopping in Melilla and Ceuta. 
Jimenez de la Espada (178) identifies the last body of water as the "Mar de Zakak," the present- 
day Straits of Gibraltar. 

'-■' From Ceuta he travels south to Fez, then west to Sale, on the Atlantic coast of Morocco 
just north of Casablanca. 



The Book of Knowledge 45^ 

from there to Brischan, a city on the seacoast. Its king has as his insignia a 
white flag with an emblem like the one that is here. [LXII] 

I left this Brischan and went on to the island of Mayorca, in which 
there is a noble and rich and abundant city. Its king has as his insignia green 
and black pales. [LXII I] 

From Mayorca I traveled along the coast and went to Tunez and 
Algezir, and from there to Maganga, and to Oran, and to Sersel, which are 
in the Kingdom of Treme^en, which is between the Medio Terreno Sea 
and the White Mountains. And note that near Treme^en they killed Abu 
Yakub, king of the west. The King of Treme^en has as his insignia a white 
flag with a blue moon. [LXIV] 

I departed Tremefen and went to Une (they used to call this Une 
Numedia), and from there to the river of Miluya, from there to Alcudia and 
to Mofena and from there to Bediz, and I arrived at the fortified city of 
Qepta. And note that Qepta faces Algezira and Gibraltar, towns in the king- 
dom of Espafia. And between this (^epta and Gibraltar passes a gulf of the 
sea that they call the Mediterraneo. And because the sea enters that narrow 
place, they are called the Straits of Marruecos and the Strait of Lazocaque. 
The king of this city has as his insignia a vermilion flag with two white 
keys, like these. [LXV] 

I left (^epta and went to see the noble city of Fez, where the Kings of 
Benemerin always reside. And through it runs a river they call Fexe, and it 
originates in the White Mountains and enters the Western Sea beyond a 
city they call Qale. And in this Fez they crown their kings. They make 
their home here. Its king has an entirely white flag as his insignia. [LXVI] 



46 El libro del coNOsgiMiENTO 

Parti de Fez, a la qual antigua mente dezian Cotamanfez, et fuy a 
Miquynez et a Ribate, et tome a Tanjar rribera del mar et dende a Arzila, 
et fuyme por la marisma a la Raxy, et dende a Qale, una gibdat rribera del 
Mar Ofidental. Et en esta fibdat sotierran los rreyes. Et dende fuy a Nife, 
et a Azamor, et a Qafi. Et en esta (^afi entra en la mar un rrio que dizen 
Gux et nas^e de los Montes Claros.'^'* Et sabet que en esta provin^ia es 
la muy noble fibdat de Marruecos que solian llamar Cartago la Grande, la 
qual conquirio un consul de Roma que dixeron Qipion el AfHcano, en el 
tienpo del senorio de los rromanos. Despues la senorearon los godos que 
fueron senores de Espaiia.'^'' Et el Rey de Marruecos a por senales un 
pendon bermejo con un axedrez prieto et bianco atal. [LXVII] 

Despues desto parti de Marruecos et fuy a Admet, una gibdat muy 
antigua et muy vifiosa, en la qual son soterrados Benabit Rey de Sevilla et 
su muger la Romaiqua. Et dende fuy a (^afi et a Modogor, puertos del Mar 
09idental. Et subi en las sierras de Qu^ia la alta, que es una tierra muy 
vi^iosa et abondada de todos los bienes. Et sabet que son unos montes muy 
altos et tierra muy peligrosa, que non an mas de dos sobidas peligrosas muy 
mucho. En estos montes escape el rrey Myramamolin quando lo desbara- 
taron los marines, et oy dia esta (^u^ia es del linaje del Miramamolyn.*'^^ 
El rrey dende a por senales un pendon bianco con un leon prieto. Et sabet 
que en esta sierra ^ucia comiengan los Montes Claros que los cristianos 
dizen Acalanes et los antiguos dizen Carena, et son en luengo dos mill et 
seisfientas et setenta et finco millas, que son ochofientas et noventa et una 
leguas et dos ter^ios de legua. [LXVIII] 

Parti de la (^ufia et entre por la Gazula, una provinfia muy vi^iosa et 
muy grande fercada de sierras muy altas, et abondada de aguas et muy frias. 
Et sabet que es a la parte do se pone el sol en el mes de dezienbre, et por 
eso la Gazula es firia en el estio et caliente en el ynviemo. Et los pobladores 



'^^ Meknes is east of Sale and Rabat, on the coast south of it. The narrator turns north again 
to Tanger, then south to Asilah and down the Moroccan coast to Safi. 

^^^ The narrator confuses Morocco with Tunis. The Goths mentioned here are the Vandak, 
who crossed the Straits of Gibraltar in A.D. 429 and conquered Mauritania. 

'^'' Benabit or Al-Mutamed-ala-Illah, King of Seville from 1069 to 1091, was dethroned by 
the Almoravids and exiled to the casde of Aghmat, where he died and was buried in 1095. His 
favorite wife was named Romeykiyyah, whose capriciousness was immortalized in Exemplum 
XLI of Don Juan Manuel's Conde Lucanor: Because Romeykiyyah yearned to see snow, her 
husband had almond trees planted throughout Cordoba so that their white blossoms would 
moUify her desire. 

Leaving Aghmat, the narrator passes through the port cities of Safi and Essaouira (formerly 
Mogodor), then climbs the western part of the Adas Mountains. 

At the end of the thirteenth century, the Miramamolin Almortada lost a batde against the 
Beni Merini in Meknes, then fled to the Adas Mountains. See Jimenez de la Espada (139-41). 



The Book of Knowledge 42 

I departed Fez, which they formerly called Cotamanfez, and went to 
Miquynez and to Ribate, and on to Tanjar on the seacoast, and from there 
to Arzila, and I went along the coast to Raxy, and from there to (^ale, a 
city on the coast of the Western Sea. And in this city they bury their kings. 
And from there I went to Nife and to Azamor and to ^afi. And in this (^afi 
a river called Gux enters the sea, and originates in the White Mountains. 
And know that in this province is the very noble city of Marruecos that 
they used to call Cartago la Grande, which a Consul of Roma that they 
called Scipio AfHcanus conquered, in the time of the rule of the Romans. 
Afterwards the Goths, who were lords of Espafia, governed it. And the 
King of Marruecos has as his insignia a vermilion flag with white and black 
cheeky, like this. [LXVII] 

After this I departed Marruecos and went to Admet, a very ancient and 
rich city in which Benabit the King of Sevilla and his wife Romaiqua are 
buried. And from there I went to (^afi and Mogodor, ports on the Western 
Sea. And I climbed the high sierras of the White Mountains, which is a very 
rich and abundant land in all things. And know that the mountains are very 
high and the land is very dangerous, as there are no more than two very 
dangerous paths up them. In these mountains the King Miramamolin es- 
caped when the Benimerins defeated him, and today this (^u^ia is of the 
Miramamolin lineage. Its king has as his insignia a white flag with a black 
lion. And know that in this sierra the White Mountains begin, which the 
Christians call Acalanes and the ancients call Carena, which are 2675 miles 
long, which are 891 leagues and two-thirds of a league. [LXVIII] 

I departed (^ufia and entered Gazula, a very rich and large province sur- 
rounded by very high sierras, and abundant in very cold waters. And know 
that it is on the side where the sun sets in the month of December, and for 
this reason Gazula is cold in the summer and hot in the winter. And its 



48 El libro del coNosgiMiENxo 

della nunca quysieron rrey pero que han un juez, et son gentes muy esentas. 
Et party de la Gazula et tome a la marisma a un puerto que dizen Zama- 
tana, et dende fuy al cabo de Na en el Mar O^idental.''^^ Et es tierra 
yerma pero que ay gentes malas crueles que biven en los canpos. Et fuy por 
la rribera adelante sienpre en un panfilo^^^ fasta que Uegue al cabo de Sant 
Bin. Et dende falle toda la marisma desabitada que non ay ^ibdat, nin villa, 
nin logar. Et andove por la marisma muy grand camino et atravese todas las 
playas arenosas que non son abitadas de omes, et Uegue a la tierra de los 
negros a un cabo que dizen de Buyder, que es del Rey de Guynea, ^erca de 
la mar. Et ally falle moros et judios. Et sabet que desde'l cabo de Buyder 
fasta el Rio del Oro son ocho^ientas et sesenta miUas, toda tierra desabitada. 
Et deste logar se tomo el panfilo, et yo fmque ally un tienpo et fuy ver las 
Islas Perdidas que llama Tolomeo las Islas de la Caridat. Et sabed que desde 
el cabo de Buider fasta primera isla son ^iento et diez millas.'^*^ 

Sobi en un lefio con unos moros et Uegamos a la primera isla, que dizen 
Gresa, et apres della es la isla de Langarote, et dizen le asi porque las gentes 
desta isla mataron a un ginoves que dezian Lan^arote. Dende fuy a otra isla 
que dizen Vezimarin et a otra que dizen Rachan, et dende a otra que dizen 
Alegran^a, et otra que dizen Vegimar, et otra que dizen Forte Ventura, et 
otra que dizen Canaria. Et fuy a otra que dizen Tenerefiz, et a otra que di- 
zen la Isla del Infiemo, et fuy a otra que dizen Gomera, et a otra que dizen 



'^^ Djezula is to the southwest of the Atlas Mountains. Travehng on the coast in a northerly 
direction, one reaches the port of Samota, then Cape Non. 

'^^ This was a kind of boat equipped with oars used in the Mediterranean from the 
thirteenth to fifteenth centuries (Jimenez de la Espada 141). Hyde (145) believes that it was 
possible to cruise down the African coast in such a boat, but not sail over to the Canary Islands 
in a Moorish ship, as the narrator soon claims. 

'-' Traveling south from Morocco along the western African coast, the narrator reaches 
Cape Boujdour. The kingdom of Guinea (Guinoa), according to Jimenez de la Espada (209), was 
"una gran region del Africa indefinida y cada vez mas extensa, a contar de la altura del cabo 
Bojador hacia el S. y alcanzando hasta el Niger o Djoliba; muy otra de la que los Portugueses 
denominaron despues de aquella manera, y la misma que los espaiioles conociamos, frecuenta- 
bamos, y quiza poseiamos a principios del siglo XV" (". . . a great region of and undefined and 
ever more extended Africa, from the point of Cape Boujdour toward the south and extending 
to the Niger or DjoHba; very different from what the Portuguese called by that name, and the 
same that the Spanish knew, and frequented and maybe even possessed at the beginning of the 
fifteenth century"). 

The River of Gold was the "El Dorado" of the Middle Ages, an illusory place that incited 
men to explore Africa. See Taylor's article for information on the expeditionary frenzy caused 
by the belief that gold could be found easily along the shores of this imaginary waterway. 

Arab geographers had named the Canaries the Lost Islands, also called in Spanish "las Islas 
de la Caridat" (Al-Kalidat), which means Fortunate Islands, the name that the Romans had given 
them previously. 

The Canaries were re-discovered in 1312 by the Genoese explorer Lancelloto MaloceUo, 
for whom the island of Lanzarote was named. 



The Book of Knowledge 49 

inhabitants never wanted a king but they have a judge, and they are very 
free people. And I departed Gazula and followed the coast to a port they 
call Zamatana, and from there I went to Cape Na in the Western Sea. And 
it is barren land but there are some cruel and bad people that live in the 
countryside. And I went onward along the shore, always in a panfilo, until 
I arrived at the Cape of Sant Bin. And from there I found the whole coast 
uninhabited, for there is no city nor town nor village. And I traveled along 
the coast a very long way and crossed all the sandy beaches that are not 
inhabited by men, and I arrived at a land of black people, at a Cape they 
call Buyder, which belongs to the King of Guynea, near the sea. And there 
I found Moors and Jews. And know that from Cape Buyder to the River 
of Gold there are 860 miles, all uninhabited land. And from this place the 
panfilo turned, and I stayed there a time and went to see the Lost Islands 
that Ptolemy calls the Fortunate Islands. And know that from Cape Buyder 
to the first island there are 110 miles. 

I embarked in a sailing vessel with some Moors and we arrived at the 
first island, which they call Gresa, and beyond it is the island of Lan^arote, 
and they call it that because the people of this island killed a Genoese man 
named Lan^arote. From there I went to another island they call Vezimarin, 
and another they call Rachan, and from there to another that they call Ale- 
gran^a, and another they call Vegimar, and another they call Forte Ventura, 
and another they call Canaria. And I went to another that they call Tenere- 
fiz, and another they call Isla de Infiemo, and another they call Gomera, 



50 El libro del coNOsgiMiENTO 

la Isla del Ferro, et a otra que dizen Aragavia, et a otra que dizen Salvaje, et 
a otra que dizen la Isla Desierta, et a otra que dizen Lecmane, et a otra el 
Puerto Santo, et a otra la Isla del Lobo, et a otra la Isla de las Cabras, et a 
otra la Isla del Brasil, et a otra la Colunbaria, et a otra la Isla de la Ventura, 
et a otra la Isla de Sant Jorge, et a otra la Ysla de los Conejos, et a otra la 
Isla de los Cuervos Marines.'-'" Et en tal manera que son veynte et ^inco 
yslas. Et de todas estas yslas non eran pobladas de gentes mas de las tres que 
son Canaria et Lan^arote et Forte Ventura. Et las gentes que ende moran 
son atales commo estas que se siguen. 

Tomeme al cabo de Buyder donde sally, et fuyme por la Zaara con unos 
moros que llevavan oro al Rey de Guinoa en camellos. Et fallamos unos 
montes muy grandes et muy altos en medio de la Zahara, et dizenles Zichi- 
alhamera. Et despues andovimos muy grand camino por la Zaara fasta que 
llegamos a otro monte que dizen Isfiirent, et deste Isfurent me parti de los 
dichos moros et falle otros que venian al Algarbe. Et vine me con ellos por 
la Zahara fasta que Uegue a Mascarota, que es una villa del Rey de Bena- 
marin que esta al pie de la sierra de la ^ufia. Et alii more un tienpo, et 
despues fuy a Sulgumen^a, una rrica ^ibdat que es en la Zaara, et ^ercala un 
rrio que viene de los Montes Claros.'-^' Et el rrey della a por senales un 
pendon bianco con una rraiz de palma verde desta manera. [LXIX] 

E parti de Sulgumen^a et fuy al rrio de Dara que dura seys jomadas, 
todo poblado allende et aquende. Et es tierra muy poblada et muy abondada 
de todos los bienes, maguer esta en la Zaara. Et parti del rrio de Dara con 
unos moros que yvan a la Guynoa et fuy con ellos por la Zahara fasta que 
llegamos a Tocoron, que es una fibdat que esta en unos montes. Et es tierra 



'^" The narrator groups together all these Atlantic islands. He first travels east to west 
through the Canary Islands: Graciosa, Lanzarote, one he calls Vezimarin (Vesci marini on the 
Dulcert map, now Isla de Lobos), Rachan (El Roque), Alegranza, (followed by a repeat of the 
Isla de Lobos), Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Infiemo (which is also Tenerife), 
Gomera, Hierro, and finally Palma. 

Bonnet (216-19) points out some important facts about the appearance of the names of the 
Canary Islands in this book. This is the first document that enumerates them all, and does so 
with great accuracy. It is also the first time that Tenerife is referred to as such: on Italian and 
Mallorcan maps of the era it is called "Insula del Inferno" (notice that this is the duplicate name 
that the author of the Conoscimiento gives to this island. See also Cortesao, Cartografia portuguesa, 
304.) The first map to include all the islands was the 1339 Dalorto map. 

After the Canaries the traveler moves north to the Savage, the Desert, and the Madeira 
Islands, referred to here with the name Lecmane, a variant of the Italian legname (wood). Nearby 
is Puerto Santo. Traveling northeast, the narrator arrives at the Azores (see Bonnet, "Las 
Canarias," 218-19). 

'^' The narrator seems to be in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco once again, traveling south 
into Algeria. Segelmessa (or Sigilmesa) was the capital of the kingdom of the same name which 
was destroyed (Jimenez de la Espada 255). 



The Book of Knowledge 5j^ 

and another they call Isla de Ferro, and another they call Aragavia, and 
another they call Salvaje, and another they call Isla Desierta, and another 
they call Lecmane, and another Puerto Santo, and another Isla del Lobo, 
and another Isla de las Cabras, and another Isla del Brasil, and another Co- 
lunbaria, and another Isla de la Ventura, and another Isla de Sant Jorge, and 
another Isla de los Conejos, and another Isla de los Cuervos Marines. And 
in this manner there are twenty-five islands. And of all these islands no 
more than three w^ere populated by people, which are Canaria and Lan- 
^arote and Forte Ventura. And the people who live there are like those that 
follow. 

I turned back to Cape Buyder fi-om where I left, and went to Zaara 
with some Moors that were taking gold on camels to the King of Guinea. 
And we found some very large and high mountains in the middle of the 
Zahara, and they call them Zichialhamera. And later we traveled a long way 
through the Zaara until we arrived at another mountain they call Isfurent, 
and from this Isfurent I took leave of the aforementioned Moors and en- 
countered others that were coming to the Algarbe. And I came with them 
through the Zahara until I reached Mascarota, which is a town belonging 
to the King of the Benimerins that is at the foot of the Sierra of Qu^ia. And 
I stayed there for a time, and afterward went to Sulgulmen^a, a rich city 
that is in the Zaara, and a river that comes from the White Mountains sur- 
rounds it. And its king has as his insignia a white flag with the root of a 
green palm, in this manner. [LXIX] 

And I departed Sugulmen^a and went to the River Dara which is a six- 
day journey, all populated here and there. And it is a very inhabited land 
and very abundant in all things, although it is in the Zaara. And I departed 
the River Dara with some Moors that were going to Guynoa and went 
with them through the Zahara until we reached Tocoron, a city which is 
in some mountains. And it is an abundant land although it is hot, and the 



52 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 



abondada como quiera que es caliente, et las gentes son negras.'^^ Et el 
rrey desta Tocoron a por senales un pendon bianco et en medio un monte 
prieto, commo el Rey de Guynoa. [LXX] 

E dende fuy a Tibalbert, que es una ^ibdat que esta en unas sierras muy 
altas. Et dende fuy a otro monte que dizen Sydon, en que ay dos fibdades. 
A la una dizen Sidan, a la otra Dan, que son del Rey de Guinoa. Et de alii 
pase a Buda,'-^^ otra fibdat muy abondada que esta asentada en ^ima de 
un monte. Et sabed que esta fibdat poblo un rrey de Treme9en porque era 
malo et fazia malas obras, et despechava a los pueblos. Quisieron lo matar, 
et fuyo con sus thesoros a este logar, et fizo esta gibdat de Buda.'-*'* Et sus 
senales son un pendon bianco con una luna bermeja tal como esta. [LXXI] 

Despues parti de Buda et fuy por la Zahara a otro monte que dezian 
Ganaht, en que ay un rrica fibdat et abondada de todos los bienes, et dizen 
le Ganaht. ^-^^ Et es cabe^a del rreyno de Guinoa. Et el rrey desta Guinoa 
ha por senales un pendon de oro et en medyo un monte prieto. [LXXII] 

Parti de Ganaht et fuy a Crima, otra fibdat que es en la Zahara, et 
dende a Mes9a, una rrica ^ibdat. Et corre por ella un rrio que nas^e de los 
Monies Claros. Et sabed que en este rrio fenes^e el rrio de Guynoa, que es 
muy ancho et muy luengo, en que ay muchas tierras yermas et pobladas, de 
manera que a en luengo sesenta et ^inco jomadas et en ancho quarenta. Et 
Guinoa quyere tanto dezir como siete montes, por que en Guynoa son siete 
montes muy poblados et tierra muy abondada, en quanto duran los 
montes.'-^'' Lo otro es toda Zahara desabitada. Et los dos montes que dichos 
son llegan al Rio del Oro de que ya conte de suso, et alii cogen los dientes 
de los marfiles que crian rribera del rrio, et cogen oro en los formigueros 
que fazen las formigas rribera del rrio. Et las formigas son grandes como 
gatos et sacan mucha tierra.^^^ Et con este rreynado confina el rreynado 



"^ This river seems to be Oued Draa, that crosses the Atlas Mountains from Morocco to 
Algeria. Tocoron is probably Tamgrout, a city on this river. 

'^^ Tabelbala is now in Algeria. Jimenez de la Espada (253) conjectures that Sidan and Dan 
might refer to the Sudan, while Markham (69) simply identifies Sidan as an oasis. According to 
Jimenez de la Espada (185) Buda was the capital of a region called Tuat, south of the Adas. 

"^Jimenez de la Espada (142) reports that there seems to be no other historical reference to 
such a king. 

"^ Ghana, the capital of Guinea, which can be identified with Senegal. 

'^^ On several of the maps of this period, the area around Guinea is labeled with reference 
to seven mountains (Jimenez de la Espada 142—43). Hyde agrees, and adds that the information 
about them originally came fi-om Solinus (145). 

"' In his translation of Z^ Canarien, Major (100, n.2) informs us that this legend goes back 
to Herodotus, who wrote that ants (smaller than dogs but larger than foxes) dug up gold with 
sand as they dug out their homes. 



The Book of Knowledge 53 

people are black. And the king of this Tocoron has as his insignia a white 
flag and in the center a black mountain, like the King of Guynoa. [LXX] 

And from there I went to Tibalbert, which is a city that is in some very 
high sierras. And from there I went to another mountain they call Sydon, 
in which there are two cities. One they call Sidan, the other Dan, [and] 
they belong to the King of Guinoa. And from there I passed on to Buda, 
another very abundant city that is seated on top of a mountain. And know 
that a king of Treme^en founded this city because he was evil and did evil 
deeds and angered the people. They tried to kill him, and he fled with his 
treasures to this place, and founded this city of Buda. And his insignia is a 
white flag with a vermilion moon, like this one. [LXXI] 

Afterward I departed Buda and went through the Zahara to another 
mountain that they called Ganaht, in which there is a rich city abundant in 
all things, and they call it Ganaht. It is the capital of the Kingdom of Gui- 
noa. And the king of this Guinoa has as his insignia a gold flag with a black 
mountain in the center. [LXXII] 

I departed Ganaht and went to Crima, another city that is in the Zahara, 
and from there to Mes^a, a rich city. And through it runs a river that 
originates in the White Mountains. And note that in this river ends the 
River Guynoa, which is very wide and very long, [and] in which there are 
many barren and inhabited lands, so that it is a sixty-five-day journey long 
and forty wide. And Guinoa means "seven mountains," because in Guynoa 
there are seven very populated mountains and very abundant land where 
the mountains are. The rest is all uninhabited Zahara. And the two afore- 
mentioned mountains extend to the River of Gold of which I have already 
told above, and there they collect ivory teeth that they raise along the river, 
and they collect gold from the anthills that the ants make on the shores of 
the river. And the ants are as big as cats and dig up a lot of earth. And this 
kingdom borders on the Kingdom of Organa, in which there are also many 



54 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

de Organa, en que ay otrosy muchas tierras desabitadas toda Zahara, et con- 
fina todo de la una parte con el Rio del Oro que dizen Nilo. Et fuera en la 
Zahara tiene tres montes niuy altos, et son poblados de muchas gentes. Al 
primero monte dizen Mons Orgando, et es la cabe^a del rreyno et do coro- 
nan los rreyes. Al otro dizen Mons Tamar, por que ay en el muchas palmas. 
Al ter^ero dizen Mons Tamir, por que en el cogen mucho oro.^-*" Los 
pueblos que son rribera del rrio non los pude asumar por que son muchos. 
Et el rrey desta Organa ha por sefiales un pendon bianco con una palma 
verde et dos Haves desta manera. [LXXIII] 

Dende parti del rreinado de Organa et pase al rreinado de Tauser, que 
tiene otro si muy grandes tierras yermas, desabitadas, todo Zaara muerta, 
pero que ay seys montes que son poblados de gentes de los negros como la 
pez. El primero monte, do mora sienpre el rrey et do coronan los rreyes, 
dizen Almena. Al otro monte dizen Albertara, al otro Merma, et al otro 
Catifi el Quibir, et al otro dizen Saploya.'-^^ El rrey deste rreynado Tauser 
esta sienpre en guerra con los moros alarabes que biven en la Zahara, et a 
por sefiales un pendon de oro con un monte prieto como el Rey de 
Guynoa. [LXXIV] 

Parti de Tauser et andude muy gran camino por la Zaara en camellos, et 
llegue a otro rreinado que dizen Tremisin, et confma con el flumen Nilus 
et sienpre bive en guerra con los cristianos de Nubia et de Etiopia. Et falle 
en este rreynado finco grandes logares poblados de gentes negras. Al pri- 
mero dizen Trimisin, al otro Oadat, al otro dizen Manola, al otro Orzia, et 
al otro Palola.^'*^ Et sabet que las gentes deste rreynado poblaron a Tre- 
me^en la de Berberia. Et el rrey deste rreynado a por sefiales un pendon 
cardeno con una luna blanca atal. [LXXV] 

Dende fuy a otro rreinado que dizen Dongola. Este parte con los 
desiertos de Egipto et faze se do se parte el rrio del Nilo dos partes. La una 
dellas, la mayor, viene contra el poniente que dizen el Rio del Oro, rribera 
del qual son los rreinados de Guynoa. Et la otra parte va por los desiertos de 
Egipto et entra en el Mar Medio Terreno en la ^ibdat de Damiaca.'"*^ 



"* The legendary kingdom of Organa was supposedly in the north of Senegal. It 6gures on 
the Catalan Atlas, with a miniature of its king. 

"' The kingdom of Tauser apparendy bordered on Organa, and is surely just as legendary. 

'■"' Markham (31-32) places the Kingdom of Tremecen on the north coast of Africa between 
Melilla and the Algerian city of Bejaia. The first king began his reign in 633, and during the 
time that this book was written, Tremecen was ruled by the Beni Zeian dynasty. 

'^' Old Dongola was just south of the present-day city of the same name on the Nile. 
Damiaca refers to modern Damietta (Egypt). 



The Book of Knowledge 55^ 

inhabited lands, completely Zahara, and one side borders entirely on the 
River of Gold that they call Nilo. And further out in the Zahara there are 
three very high mountains, and they are inhabited by many people. They 
call the first mountain Mons Orgando, and it is the capital of the kingdom, 
and where they crown their kings. They call the other Mons Tamar because 
there are many palm trees in it. They call the third Mons Timer because 
they collect a lot of gold there. I could not count all the towns on the river 
because they are many. And the king of this Organa has as his insignia a 
white flag with a green palm tree and two keys, in this manner. [LXXIII] 

From there I departed the Kingdom of Organa and went to the King- 
dom of Tauser, which also has many barren, uninhabited lands, all Zahara, 
but there are six mountains inhabited by people as black as pitch. The first 
mountain, where the the king always resides and where they crown their 
kings, they call Almena. They call the other Albertara, the other Merma, 
and the other Catifi el Quibir, and the other they call Saploya. The king of 
this kingdom Tauser is always at war with the Arabs that live in the Zahara, 
and has as his insignia a gold flag with a black mountain, like the King of 
Guynoa. [LXXIV] 

I departed Tauser and traveled a long way through the Zaara on camels, 
and arrived at another kingdom they call Tremisin, and it borders on the 
River Nilus and is always at war with the Christians of Nubia and Etiopia. 
And I found in this kingdom five great towns inhabited by black people. 
They call the first Trimisin, the other Oadat, they call the other Manola, 
the other Orzia, and the other Palola. And know that the people of the 
kingdom founded the Treme^en in Berberia. And the king of this kingdom 
has as his insignia a cardinal red flag with a white moon, like this. [LXXV] 

From there I went to another kingdom that they call Dongola. This 
borders on the deserts of Egipto where the Nilus River separates into two 
parts. One of them, the greater part, comes toward the west [and] they call 
it the River of Gold, on the shores of which are the kingdoms of Guynoa. 
And the other part goes through the deserts of Egipto and enters the Medio 
Terreno Sea in the city of Damiaca. Between these two branches of the 



56 El libro del coNOsgiMiENTO 

Entre estos dos bragos del dicho rrio es este rreynado de Dongola, et es 
tierra muy poblada de cristianos de Nubia, pero que son negros. Et es tierra 
muy abondada et rrica de todos los bienes del mundo, de muchos ganados 
et de todas naturas, et de muchos frutos de arboles, commo quyer que es 
tierra muy caliente. Et el rrey della a por senales un pendon bianco con una 
cruz prieta asy.''^^ [lXXVI] 

En este rreynado de Dongola falle cristianos ginoveses mercaderes et 
fuyme con ellos, et tomamos camino el rrio del Nilo ayusso. Et andodimos 
sesenta jomadas por los desiertos de Egipto fasta que Uegamos a la ^ibdat de 
Alcaara que es cabe^a del rreynado de Egipto et a do coronan los rreyes, et 
segund que ya conte de suso. Et parti de Alcaara et fuy me para Damieta et 
falle una nao de cristianos et entre en ella. Et andude un tienpo en esta nao 
fasta que descargaron en la gibdat de Qepta, de que ya conte de suso. Et 
parti de ^epta por tierra et fuyme para Marruecos otra vez, et travese los 
Montes Claros et fuyme para Gazula, et more ay un tienpo por que es vi- 
fiosa et esenta. Et unos moros armaron una galeota para yr al Rio del Oro 
de que ya conte de suso, por que fazen alia grandes ganan^ias, et fuy con 
ellos por algo que me dixeron. Et party de la Gazula en la dicha galea et 
levamos sienpre la rribera del Mar del Poniente, fasta que llegamos al Cabo 
de No, et dende al Cabo de Sant Bin, et dende al Cabo de Buyder de que 
ya conte de suso, que es toda la rribera desabitada. Et llegamos al Rio del 
Oro de que ya conte de suso, que se parte del Nilo, el qual nas^e de las 
altas sierras del polo Antartico do dizen que es el Paraisso Terrenal,''*-' et 
atraviesa toda Nubia, et toda Etiopia, et a la sallida de Etiopia partese en dos 
bra^os. El uno va contra el desierto de Egipto por Damieta. El otro bra^o 
mayor viene al poniente et metese en la Mar O^idental, et dizenle el Rio 
del Oro. Et andodimos despues que partimos del Rio del Oro muy grand 
camino, guardando sienpre la rribera. Et dexamos atras las Islas Perdidas, et 
fallamos una isla muy grande poblada et de muchas gentes et dezianle 
Ynsola Gropis,''^'* et era tierra abondada de todos los bienes salvo que las 
gentes eran ydolatrias. Et Uevaron nos a todos ante su rrey et maravillose 
mucho de nos, et de nuestra fabla, et de nuestras costunbres. Et los merca- 
deres que armaron la galea fezieron mucho de su provecho. Et el rrey dende 
a por senales un pendon bianco con la figura de su idolo tal. [LXXVII] 



'*^ R and S show a cross with two horizontal bars. In N, the lower bar traverses the whole 
banner, completely changing its appearance. 

'^^ On the various "locations" of Earthly Paradise, see Wright 261-63. Like the Conosci- 
miento, the Dalorto map of 1339 places it south of Ethiopia. 

'*^ This is probably one of the Bisagots Islands off the coast of Senegal (see Jimenez de h 
Espada 151). 



The Book of Knowledge 57 

aforementioned river is this kingdom of Dongola, and it is a land very 
populated with Christians from Nubia, but they are black. And it is a very 
abundant and rich land, with all the material wealth in the world, and much 
catde of all kinds and many fruits from trees, although it is a very hot land. 
And its king has as his insignia a white flag with a black cross, Uke this. 
[LXXVI] 

In the kingdom of Dongola I encountered some Genoese Christian 
merchants and went with them, and we went off down the Nilo River. And 
we traveled sixty days through the deserts of Egipto until we reached the city 
of Alcaara which is the capital of the kingdom of Egipto and where they 
crown their kings, of which I have already told above. And I departed Al- 
caara and went to Damieta and I encountered a ship of Christians and em- 
barked it. And I traveled a time in this ship until they unloaded in the city of 
Qepta, which I have already told of above. And I departed Qepta on land and 
went to Marruecos once again, and crossed the White Mountains and went 
to Gazula, and there I lived for a time because it is rich and comfortable. And 
some Moors supplied a galley to go to the River of Gold of which I already 
told above, because there they make great profits, and I went with them 
because of something they told me. And I departed Gazula in the said galley 
and we always followed the coast of the Western Sea until we reached Cape 
No, and from there the Cape of Sant Bin, and from there Cape Buyder of 
which I have already told above; it is entirely uninhabited coastHne. And we 
arrived at the River of Gold which I told of above, which originates in the 
Nilo, which originates in the high sierras of the Antarctic Pole where they say 
Earthly Paradise is, and it crosses all of Nubia and all Etiopia, and at the end 
of Etiopia it divides into two branches. One goes through the desert of 
Egipto to Damieta. The other branch comes west and enters the Western 
Sea, and they call it the River of Gold. And after we departed the River of 
Gold we traveled a long way, keeping always to the coast. And we left 
behind us the Lost Islands, and we found a very large populated island with 
a lot of people, and they called it the Insula Gropis, and it was a land abun- 
dant in all things, except that the people were idolaters. And they took all of 
us to their king and he marveled at us and at our speech, and at our customs. 
And the merchants that supplied the galley made a great profit. And its king 
has as his insignia a white flag with the figure of their idol, like this. 
[LXXVII] 



58 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

E partimos de la Insola de Gropis et tomamos camino contra el levante 
por el Mar de India, et fallamos otra isla que dizen Quible.''*'' Et dexamos 
la a man derecha et tomamos f erca de la rribera, et paresf io un monte muy 
alto que dezian Alboch. Et fuemos alia, et era todo poblado de muchas 
gentes, et nas^ia del un rrio muy grande, et era tierra muy abondada. Et de 
aquy se tomo la galea. Et yo fmque alii un tienpo et despues party de Al- 
boch con gentes, et fuy a otro monte que dizen Lirry. Et nas^ia del un rrio 
que dizen Enalco.^"*^ Et parti deste monte que dizen Lirri et fuy al rrey- 
nado de Gotonie, que tiene muy grandes tierras pobladas et yermas. Et en 
este rreynado Gotonie son unos montes mucho altos, que dizen que non 
son otros tan altos en el mundo. Et dizenles los Montes de la Luna. Otros 
les dizen los Montes del Oro.'"*^ Et nas^en destos montes ginco rrios, los 
mayores del mundo, et van todos caer en el Rio del Oro, et esta es su 
figura.^"^^ 

Et faze y un lago tan grande de veynte jomadas en luengo et diez en 
ancho. Et faze en medio una grand isla que dizen Palola, et es poblada de 
gentes negras. Pero la mas desta tierra es desabitada por la muy grand 
calentura et por que es toda arenas muertas. Pero son en este rreynado seys 
montes poblados de gentes. Los mayores son los Montes del Oro, et el otro 
monte es el Monte de Lirri, et el otro Monte Alboch, al otro monte dizen 
Burga, al otro Monte de Elbahat, et al otro Monte de Elmolar. Et sabet que 
deste rreinado Gotonye non es el mas poblado que destos montes que 
dichos son, pero que tiene muy grandes tierras, ca parte del un cabo con el 
Rio del Oro, et del otro cabo con el Mar O^iano,''*'^ et del otro cabo con 
un golfo que entra en el Mar Occidental quinze jomadas. Asy que es uno 
de los grandes rreinos del mundo. Et sus seiiales son unos tovajones de oro 
atados en una lan^a. [LXXVIII] 

Sabet que esta tierra de que ya contamos como quyer que es tierra muy 
caliente pero es tierra muy abondada de muchos datiles et muchos camellos. 
Et rribera deste rrio Nilo crian los grandes marfiles, et de aquy lievan los 
mercadores los dientes et los huesos dellos. Et rribera deste rrio cogen el oro 
en los formigueros, et cogen el alanbar, et por esso esta tierra es muy rrica. 



'"''' Perhaps this refers to the Sherbro Islands, near the coast of Sierra Leone. 

'^^' Jimenez de la Espada (175) and Markham (69) believe that Alboch might be Sierra Leone 
and that the Enalco River is the Kamaranka. Lirri is more difficult to identify: Markham refers 
to it simply as an oasis in Central Africa. 

'■•^ For Jimenez de la Espada (207), Gotonie was a large area of Equatorial Africa, and the 
mountains mentioned are Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. 

'■•^ In N and R appears a drawing of a mountain with five rivers coming fi:om it and empty- 
ing into another, larger river. 

'^' The Atlantic. 



The Book of Knowledge 59^ 

And we departed Insula Gropis and took the route eastward to the Sea 
of India, and we found another island they call Quible. And we left it on 
the right side and traveled near the coast, and there appeared a very high 
mountain that they called Alboch. And we went there, and it was totally 
inhabited by many people, and a very large river originated there, and it 
was a very abundant land. And from here the galley turned away. And I re- 
mained there for a time and afterward I departed Alboch with some people 
and went to another mountain they call Liny. And a river they call Enalco 
originated in it. And I departed this mountain they call Lirri and went to 
the Kingdom Gotonie, which has many great inhabited and barren lands. 
And in this Kingdom Gotonie there are many high mountains, for they say 
that there are none higher in the world. And they call them the Mountains 
of the Moon. Others call them the Mountains of Gold. And five rivers 
originate in these mountains, the largest in the world, and all flow to the 
River of Gold, and this is its image. 

And a very large lake is formed there, a twenty-days' journey in length 
and ten wide. And there is in the middle a great island that they call Palola, 
and it is inhabited by black people. But most of this land is uninhabited 
because of the great heat and because it is all dead sand. But there are in 
this kingdom six mountains inhabited by people. The largest are the Moun- 
tains of Gold, and the other mountain is Mount Lirri, and the other Mount 
Alboch, the other mountain they call Burga, the other Mount Elbahat, and 
the other Mount Elmolar. And note that this kingdom Gotonie is not the 
most populated other than in these aforementioned mountains, but it has 
many great lands since it borders on one end with the River of Gold and 
on the other end with the Ocean Sea, and on the other end with a gulf that 
enters fifteen-days' journey in the Western Sea. Therefore it is one of the 
largest kingdoms in the world. And its insignia are gold sashes tied on a 
lance. [LXXVIII] 

Know that this land of which we have told, although it is a very hot 
land, is nevertheless a land abundant in many dates and many camels. And 
on the shore of this Nilo River they cultivate great ivories, and from there 
the merchants collect the teeth and the bones of them. And on the shore of 
this river they take gold from the anthills, and collect amber, and that 
is why this land is very rich. And I departed this kingdom Gotonie and 



60 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENXO 

Et parti deste rreynado Gotonie et Uegue a un golfo que faze y el Mar 
Ofiano. Et avia en este golfo tres islas. A la una dizen Zanno, a la otra A^e- 
vean, et a la otra Malicun.^^^ Et travese el dicho golfo et aporte a una 
grand fibdat que dizen Amenuan, et es otrosi un rreyno muy grande, et de 
muchas gentes, et es tierra muy abondada de todos los bienes, salvo que las 
gentes eran ydolatrias et creyan en los idolos. Et avia en este rreynado ocho 
^ibdades grandes. Son: la mayor, Amenuan, do moran sienpre los rreyes et 
do los coronan, otra Goran, otra As^ida, otra Cologane, otra Benateo, otra 
Unda, otra Gaona, otra Canben.^^' Et el rrey dende a por senales un pen- 
don bianco con una idola tal. [LXXIX] 

En este rreynado de Amenuan entra un bra90 del rrio Eufrates, el qual 
rrio nas^e de las altas sierras del Polo Antarico do diz que es el Paraiso 
Terrenal.'^^ Et este rrio Eufirates faze se tres bra^os: el un bra^o entra por 
medio del rreino de Amenuan, et los otros bra^os fircunrrodean todo el 
rreyno que ha en ancho en algunos lugares dos jomadas. Asi es el rreyno 
muy grande. Et dende travese el dicho rrio et andove muy grand camino 
por su rribera, que es mucho poblada. Et llegue a una grand gibdat que 
dizen Gra^iona, que es cabe^a del ynperio de Abdeselib, que quiere dezir 
siervo de la cruz. Et este Abdeselib es defendedor de la iglesia de Nubia et 
de Etiopia, et este defiende al Preste Juan, que es patriarca de Nubia et de 
Etiopia et senorea muy grandes tierras et muchas ^ibdades de cristianos.'^-' 
Pero que son negros como la pez et quemanse con fuego en las fruentes en 
seiial de cruz et en rreconos^imiento de bautismo. Et como quier que estas 
gentes son negras, pero son omes de buen entendimiento et de buen seso, 
et an saberes et fien^ias, et an tierra muy abondada de todos los bienes, por 
que ay muchas aguas et muy buenas de las que salen del Polo Antarico do 
dizen que es el Paraiso Terrenal. Et dixeron me en esta ^ibdat de Gran9iona 
que fueron y traidos los ginoveses que escaparon de la galea que se quebro 



'^" Markham (69) places these islands in the Gulf of Guinea. 

'^' Apparently an area in western Equatorial Africa. 

'^^ The narrator later demonstrates that he knows that this river is not the same Euphrates 
as the one in the Near East. Since he believed that Earthly Paradise was located in Africa, he 
must have thought it necessary to place a Euphrates River here also. 

'^^ According to Conti Rossini (673), the name Gra^iona might be derived from Civitas 
Syone of the 1325 Dalorto map; or "hagara Sion" (Sion City), probably Aksum (Ethiopia). 

On the Pizigani brothers' map and on the metallic planisphere in the Borgiano Museum 
there exists in the south of Africa a region governed by a king "Ebini Chilebi" or "Ebinichibel" 
who, along with his vassals, had the head of a dog. 

Prester John was a legendary and very wealthy priest-emperor sought out by Europeans in 
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. See Beckingham's article on the quest for this imagirury 
figure. Markham (38, n.l) sutes that the author of this book was the first to locate Prester John 
in the area of Ethiopia. 



The Book of Knowledge 61^ 

arrived at a gulf that the Ocean Sea forms there. And there were three 
islands in this gulf They call one Zanno, the other A^evean, and the other 
Malicun. And I crossed the said gulf and took port in a great city they call 
Amenuan, and it is also a very large kingdom, and with many people, and 
it is a land abundant in all things, except that the people were idolaters and 
believed in idols. And there were in this kingdom eight large cities. They 
are: the largest, Amenuan, where the kings always reside and where they 
crown them, another [is] Goran, another As^ida, another Cologane, another 
Benateo, another Unda, another Gaona, another Canben. And its king has 
as his insignia a white flag with an idol, like this. [LXXIX] 

Into this kingdom of Amenuan enters a branch of the River Eufrates, 
which [river] originates in the high sierras of the Antarctic Pole where they 
say Earthly Paradise is. And this River Eufrates divides into three branches: 
one branch enters through the middle of the kingdom of Amenuan, and the 
other branches surround all the kingdom, which is two-days' journey in 
width in some places. Therefore the kingdom is very large. And from there 
I crossed the aforementioned river and traveled a long way near the coast, 
which is very populated. And I reached a great city they call Gra^iona, 
which is the capital of the empire of Abdeselib, which means "servant of 
the cross." And this Abdeselib is the defender of the Church of Nubia and 
of Etiopia, and he defends Prester John, who is the Patriarch of Nubia and 
of Etiopia and governs many great lands and many cities of Christians. But 
they are as black as pitch and they bum themselves with fire on their 
foreheads with the sign of the cross in recognition of their baptism. And 
although these people are black, they are men of good understanding and 
good mind, and they have knowledge and science, and they have a land 
that is very abundant in all things because there are many and very good 
waters that come from the Antarctic Pole where they say Earthly Paradise 
is. And they told me in this city of Gragiona that the Genoese men that 



62 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

en Amenuan, et de la otra galea que escape nunca sopieron que se fizo.'^'* 
Et este enperador Abdeselib a por senales un pendon de plata con una cruz 
prieta desta manera. [LXXX] 

Parti de la fibdat de Gra^iona por que las fibdades deste inperio non 
pude asumar, et andude por muchas tierras et fibdades et Uegue a la ^ibdat 
de Malsa, do mora sienpre'l Preste lohn, patriarca de Nubia et de Etio- 
pia.^^^ Et a la ida yva sienpre rribera del rrio Eufirates, que es una tierra 
muy poblada et abondada. Et desque fuy en Malsa folgue y un tienpo por 
que via et oya cada dia cosas maravillosas. Et pregunte por el Parayso 
Terrenal que cosa era et que dezian del. Et dixeron me omes sabios que 
eran unos montes tan altos que confinan con el firculo de la luna et que los 
non podia ver todo ome, ca de veynte omes que fuesen non los verian los 
tres dellos, et que nunca oyeran dezir de ome que alia subiese. Et omes ay 
que dizen que los vieron a la parte de oriente, et otros a la parte de medio 
dia. Et dizen que quando el sol es en Geminis veen los a medio dia, et 
quando el sol es en Capricomio veen los a la parte de oriente. Et dixeron 
me que estos montes eran todos ^ercados de pielagos muy fondos del agua 
que dellos des9iende, de los quales pielagos salen quatro rrios muy grandes 
que son los mayores del mundo, que les dizen Tigris, Eufirates, Gion, et 
Ficxion.'^^ Et estos quatro rrios rriegan toda Nubia et Etiopia, et las aguas 
que delos dichos montes desgienden fazen tan grand rruydo, que a dos 
jomadas suena el son de las aguas. Et todos los omes que ^erca moran son 
todos sordos que non se oyen unos a otros del grand rroydo de las aguas. Et 
en todo tienpo da el sol en aquellos montes, quier de noche quier de dia, 
quando del un cabo, quando del otro. Esto es por que la meitad destos 
montes son sobre el orizonte et la otra so el orizonte, en tal manera que 
en^ima de los montes nunca faze noche, nin tiniebra, nin faze fiio, nin 
calentura, nin sequedat, nin umidat, mas mucho egual tenplamiento. Et 
todas las cosas asi vigitables como sentibles et animales que alii son, non 
pueden jamas conrronper nin morir. Et dixeron me otros secretos muchos 
de las virtudes de las estrellas, asi en los juyzios como en la magica, et 



''''' It is said that in 1281, two ships originating in Genoa were headed for India; one stopped 
in an Ethiopian city called Menam, where all the Genoese aboard were taken prisoner. No one 
returned from this expedition. See Rogers, "The Vivaldi Expedition," for details. 

'"''' Conti Rossini (673) affirms that it is difficult to identify the supposed city of Malsa, and 
it does not appear in any Ethiopian historical documents or maps. 

^^ Genesis (2:10) first mentions the four rivers of Paradise: the Pison, the Gihon (Nile), the 
Hiddekel (Tigris), and the Euphrates (see also n.l52). Benjamin de Tudela calls Fison the Nile 
that emptied into the Mediterranean. 



The Book of Knowledge 63 

escaped the galley that broke up in Amenuan were taken there, and they 
never knew what happened to the other galley that escaped. And this 
Emperor Abdeselib has as his insignia a silver flag with a black cross in this 
manner. [LXXX] 

I departed the city of Gra^iona because the cities of this empire cannot 
be counted, and I traveled through many lands and cities and reached the 
city of Malsa, where Prester John, the Patriarch of Nubia and of Etiopia, 
always resides. On my way I always kept to the shore of the River Eufrates, 
which is a very inhabited and abundant land. And when I arrived in Malsa 
I stayed there for a time because I saw and heard marvelous things every 
day. And I asked what Earthly Paradise was, and what they said about it. 
And some wise men told me that it was some very high mountains that 
border on the circle of the Moon and that not every man could see them, 
since of twenty men who might go, only three of them would see it, and 
they never heard of any man climbing them. And there are men that say 
that they saw them on the eastern side, and others on the south. And they 
say that when the Sun is in Gemini they see them to the south, and when 
the Sun is in Capricorn they see them to the west. And they told me that 
these mountains were completely surrounded by seas deep with the water 
that descends from them, from which [seas] flow four very large rivers that 
are the greatest in the world, which they call Tigris, Eufrates, Gion and 
Ficxion. And these four rivers irrigate all of Nubia and Etiopia, and the 
waters of the aforementioned mountains that descend make such a great 
noise, that the sound can be heard two-days' journey away. And all the men 
that live near are totally deaf, since they cannot hear each other because of 
the great noise of the waters. And the Sun always shines in those moun- 
tains, be it night or day, whether on one side or the other. This is because 
half of these mountains are above the horizon and the other under the hori- 
zon, so that atop the mountain it is never night, nor dark, nor cold, nor 
hot, nor dry, nor wet, but a great even temperature. And all things that are 
there, vegetable as well as sentient and animal, can never decay nor die. 
And they told me many other secrets of the virtues of the stars, concerning 
predictions as well as magic, and also the virtues of the herbs and plants and 



64 El libro del coNOsgiMiENXo 

virtudes otrosi de las yervas, et plantas, et mineras. Et vy ende cossas mara- 
villosas. Et los griegos dizen a este logar Ortodoxis, et los abraicos dizen le 
Ganheden,^^^ et los latinos Paraiso Terrenal por que sienpre ally es grand 
tenpramiento. Et las senales del Preste lohn son un pendon de plata con una 
cruz prieta, et de amas partes dos blagos desta manera, por que en tierra de 
Nubia et de Etiopia son dos enperadores, el uno el Enperador de Gra^iona 
et el otro el Enperador de Magdasor.'"'^ [LXXXI] 

Salli de la ^ibdat de Malsa do mora el Preste Ihon, et tome camino 
contra el levante et travese el rrio Nilo, et falle muchas 9ibdades en su rri- 
bera. A la primera dizen Amo, et a la otra Araot, et a la otra Sarma, et a la 
otra Oc^idela, et a la otra Moraina, et a la otra Vyma, et a la otra Gabencol- 
it, et a la otra Glaot, et otros muchos pueblos. Et travese dos vezes el rrio 
Gion, que lo non pude escusar, fasta que Uegue a una grand fibdat que 
dizen Magdasor.'^^ Et es un inperio muy grande en que ay muchas fib- 
dades, et villas, et castillos, et logares, et es tierra muy poblada de cristianos 
de Nubia. Este ynperio de Magdasor es todo ^ercado de los dos rrios que 
sallen de los grandes pielagos que se fazen derredor del Paraiso Terrenal. Al 
un rrio dizen Gion, et al otro Fison, et del otro cabo confinan con un golfo 
del Mar de India que entra por la tierra quarenta jomadas. En esta fibdat de 
Magdasor me dixeron de un ginoves que dezian Sorleonis que fuera y en 
busca de su padre que fuera en una de las galeas de que ya conte de suso. Et 
fizieronle toda onrra. Et este Sorleonis quysiera traspasar al inperio de Gra- 
fiona a buscar a su padre, et este Enperador de Magdasor non le consintio 
yr por que la yda era dubdosa por que el camino es peligroso.'^'" Et sabet 
que en esta tierra de Nubia et de Etyopia son ^iento et ^inquenta et quatro 
rregiones que tienen muy grandes tierras yermas et pobladas, en tal manera 



'" Gan Ha'Eden is Hebrew for the Garden of Eden. 

'^* Each manuscript treats Prester John's coat of arms in a different manner. In S, in its 
center is a long cross flanked by a bishop's crook on either side. N provides two banners: the 
first contains a cross with four equal branches between two bishop's crosses; the other has only 
what appears to be an orthodox cross, with its three, successively larger cross bars. In R, the 
shield is traversed completely by a simple cross. 

Markham (plate 15, facing p. 35) attributes the orthodox cross banner to S, the flag that 
actually is found in S to N, and the other arms drawn in N to R. He does not provide the coat 
of arms that appears in R. 

'^' Conti Rossini (674) finds these place-names inexphcably altered fi-om their counterparts 
on the Dalorto map. He tentatively identifies them as cities along the Ethiopian and Somafian 
coast down to Mogadishu (here, Magdasor). In their order of appearance in the text: Amhara, 
Roha, Sarmat, Uag, (Moraina is left unidentified), Urma, and Galloc. 

Conti Rossini also remarks that this is the first time that a Western text mentions Moga- 
dishu (675, n.l). 

'^•" Seen. 154. 



The Book of Knowledge 65 

minerals. And I saw there marvellous things. And the Greeks call this place 
Ortodoxis, and the Hebrews call it Ganheden, and the Latins Paraiso Ter- 
renal because it is always a wonderful temperature there. And the insignia 
of Prester John is a silver flag with a black cross, and on both sides two 
crooks in this manner, because in the land of Nubia and of Etiopia there are 
two emperors: one is the Emperor of Gra9iona and the other is the Em- 
peror of Magdasor. [LXXXI] 

I left the city of Malsa where Prester John resides and took the road east 
and crossed the Nilo River, and I found many cities on its shores. They call 
the first Amo, and the other Araot, and the other Sarma, and the other Oc- 
fidela, and the other Moraina, and the other Vyma, and the other Gaben- 
colit, and the other Glaot, and many other towns. And I twice crossed the 
river Gion, which I could not avoid, until I reached a great city they call 
Magdasor. It is a very large empire in which there are many cities and 
towns and castles and villages, and it is a land quite populated by Christians 
firom Nubia. This empire of Magdasor is totally surrounded by two rivers 
that come out of the great seas that are formed around Earthly Paradise. 
They call one river Gion, and the other Fison, and on the other end they 
border on a gulf of the Sea of India that enters into land a distance of a 
forty-days' journey. In this city of Magdasor they told me of a Genoese man 
that they called Sorleonis who had gone there in search of his father who 
had gone there in one of the galleys that I told of above. And they did him 
every honor. And this Sorleonis had wanted to cross the empire of Gra- 
fiona to look for his father, and this Emperor of Magdasor did not consent 
that he go because the journey was dubious because the way is dangerous. 
And note that in this land of Nubia and of Etiopia there are 1 54 regions 
that have many great barren and inhabited lands, so that it forms one fourth 



66 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

que es la quarta parte de toda la faz de la tierra. El Enperador de Magdasor 
a por senales un pendon bianco con una cruz prieta atal."'' [LXXXII] 

Parti del inperio de Magdasor et fuyme contra el levante por el Gion 
ayuso. Et a la salida deste inperio este rrio Gion partese en dos bra^os. El 
uno va contra medio dia et metese en el Mar de Yndia. Este bra^o dexe yo 
a man derecha et fuy por el otro bra^o muy grand camino, et falle gentes de 
muchas creen^ias et de estranas maneras et costunbres, que seria luengo de 
contar, fasta que Uegue a un golfo del Mar de Yndia que entra por la tierra 
finquenta jomadas. Et en este golfo son tres islas muy grandes. A la una 
dizen Zinzibar, a la otra Alcubil, et a la ter^era Insola Aden, que es la mayor 
et la mas poblada et es contra Arabia. '^^ Et desta comienga el Mare Ru- 
bro et salle por la tierra contra el poniente quarenta jomadas, et rriberas del 
son muchas ^ibdades et villas et logares. Et quando vienen las naos de India 
llegan a la Isla Aden et pagan y el diezmo de las mercadurias que traen, por 
que entre esta Isla Aden et la punta de Aravia es una rrica ^ibdat. Faze se 
muy grand angostura que mala vez cabe una nao, et entran luego en el Mar 
Rubro et descargan en una fibdat que llaman Sacam, que es del Rey de 
Caldea. Ribera deste Mar Rubro es una fibdat que dizen Alba^io,"*^ que 
antigua mente era cabe^a de rreynado, et de alii derraman para Egipto et a 
Damasco et lievan las mercadurias por tierras en camellos. Et sabet que este 
Mar Rubro confina con Arabia et con Caldea, et llega fasta los desiertos de 
Egipto. Ribera del son muchas fibdades et senorios, pero dire los mayores. 
Al primero dizen Chos, al otro Lidebo, al otro Made, al otro Exion Gabel, 
al otro Gide, al otro Serayn, al otro Sacan, al otro Yude, al otro Adromar, 
al otro Rasaquipal, et al otro Me^a."''^ Et a este Mare Rubro dizen asi por 
que el suelo del es todo almagra et tierra bermeja, et faze el agua rruvia. Et 
por este mar pasaron los judios quando salieron de Egipto del cautiverio del 
Rey Faraon. Et dende entre luego por Caldea, que es toda ^ercada de dos 
rrios muy grandes que na^en de los Montes del Toro. Al uno dizen el 



"'' All three manuscripts depict a patriarchal cross with two horizontal branches. 

'" For information on Zinzibar, see Jimenez de la Espada, n.xlvi. The narrator now heads 
into the Arabian Sea and the Arabian Peninsula. 

'^-^ Sacam refers to the port city of Suakin, now in Sudan on the Red Sea. Both Markham 
(39) and Jimenez de la Espada (174-75) believe that Alba^io is a corruption of Abyssinia. 

""^ All are cities on either side of the Red Sea, ending with Mecca. Conti Rossini establishes 
the identity of several of them: on the Egyptian side are Quseir, Aidhab, and the port Batse; 
Exion Gabel is Ezeongeber (Gulf of Aqaba); Gide is surely Jedda, followed by the port Sirrein 
to its south; Yude might be Zebid, an important city at the time, followed perhaps by Uadi 
Rum (677). 



The Book of Knowledge 67 

of the entire face of the earth. The Emperor of Magdasor has as his insignia 
a white flag with a black cross, hke this. [LXXXII] 

I departed the empire of Magdasor and went eastward down the Gion. 
And at the exit to this empire this river Gion divides into two branches. 
One goes south and enters the Sea of India. I left this branch to my right 
and went along the other branch a long way, and found people of many 
beliefs and of strange manners and customs that would take long to relate, 
until I reached a gulf of the Sea of India that enters into land a distance of 
fifty-days' journey. And in this gulf there are three very large islands. They 
call one Zinzibar, the other Alcubil, and the third Insula Aden, which is the 
largest and most populated and faces Arabia. And here the Red Sea begins 
and penetrates the land in a westward direction the distance of a forty-days' 
journey, and on its shores there are many cities and towns and villages. And 
when the ships from India come, they arrive at the island Aden and there 
they pay the tax for the merchandise they are carrying because between this 
island Aden and the tip of Arabia there is a rich city. It becomes so narrow 
there that a ship hardly fits, and they enter the Red Sea and unload in a city 
they call Sacam, which belongs to the King of Caldea. On the shores of this 
Red Sea is a city they call Albagio, which in ancient times was the capital 
of the kingdom, and from there they leave for Egipto and Damasco and 
take their merchandise by land on camels. And note that this Red Sea bor- 
ders on Arabia and Caldea, and extends to the deserts of Egipto. On its 
shores are many cities and lordships, but I will mention [only] the largest. 
They call the first Chos, the other Lidebo, the other Made, the other Exion 
Gabel, the other Gide, the other Serayn, the other Sacan, the other Yude, 
the other Adromar, the other Rasaquipal, and the other Me^a. And they 
call it the Red Sea because its bottom is all red ochre and red earth, and it 
makes the water red. And over this sea the Jews passed when they left 
Egipto from the captivity of the Pharaoh King. And from there I then 
entered Caldea, which is surrounded entirely by two very large rivers that 
originate in the Toro Mountains. They call one the River Cur and the 



68 El libro del coNOsgiMiENTO 

flumen Cur et al otro Eufratres, mas non el de Nubia. ^^^ Et anbos dos 
estos rrios entran en el Mar de Yndia en un golfo que dizen el Mar Negro, 
et los judios le dizen Mare Porticun.^^^ Esta Caldea es una tierra mucho 
poblada et rrica et muy abondada de todos los bienes et de todas las cosas. 
Et sabet que en este rreyno de Caldea es la muy grande Torre de Bavel que 
fezieron los gigantes en medio de un gran canpo que dizen el Agro de 
Senabar. Et aqui fue la grand ^ibdat de Bavilonia, que agora es ya destruida, 
de que fue senor Nabucodonusor. Et las gentes desta Babilonia se partieron 
en dos partes. Los unos poblaron a Bandacha, una noble ^ibdat que es en la 
provin^ia de Baldaque, et Ids otros poblaron a Mistrayn en Egipto.^^^ Et 
esta es la figura de Babilonia con la torre asy commo esta que se sigue. 

Et en este Mestrayn estudieron los judios captivos en el tienpo de Moy- 
sen. Et despues fue destroydo este Mestrayn por el Rio de Nilo, et los que 
escaparon poblaron a la ^ibdat de Alcahara do agora mora el Soldan de 
Egipto. Et pase un bra^o del rrio Eufrates et entre en la provin^ia de Balda- 
que, en que ay una grand ^ibdat que dizen Bandacho, de que fue otrosy 
seiior Nabucodonusor. El rrey destas dos provin^ias a por senales un pendon 
de plata con una tal serial commo esta.*^^ [LXXXIII] 

Parti de Bandacha et fuy a Mesopotania, una grant ^ibdat et muy abon- 
dada de muchos bienes, en la qual fue coronado el Enperador Merlinus 
Tartarus, Seiior de Armenia la Mayor. ^^^ Et parti de Mesopotania et fuy 
a una ^ibdat que dizen Mon Falcon, et alii faze una grand isla el rrio Cur 
que llaman Ansera, en la qual ysla esta una grand ^ibdat. Et pasado este rrio 
es el logar do fue la ^ibdat de Ninive, que fue destruyda por el pecado de 
Sodomia que fazian los omes.'^° Et sabet que esta rregion tiene muy 
grandes tierras et fibdades et logares, et es toda ^ercada de dos rrios muy 
grandes. Al uno dizen el flumen Eufrates et al otro el flumen Cur. Et de la 
otra parte el Mar Rubro et de la otra el Mar Pargicun fasta Aqyusio,'^' et 



"■^ The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. It is here that the author distinguishes between this and 
the Euphrates River on the African continent. 

'^ The Persian Gulf. 

'^^ Bandacha and Baldaque both refer to Baghdad. Jimenez de la Espada (227) identifies 
Mistrayn simply as Egypt. 

'^* The object in the center of this flag is an inverted triangle. Only the outUne of the 
banner appears in S. Markham (and thus Pasch) does not supply an illustration. 

"*' Markham (40, n.5) and Jimenez de la Espada (158) conjecture that this might be Holagou 
Khan, a grandson of Genghis, who conquered Baghdad in 1258. 

'^" Might Mon Falcon be Al Mawsil, a city on the left bank of the Tigris? Across from it is 
the site of ancient Ninive, and the name Ansera could refer to an islet in the river itself 

''' Qeshm, the island and city of this name that are now part of Iran, in the Persian Gulf 



The Book of Knowledge 69 

other the Eufrates, but not the one in Nubia. And both of these rivers enter 
the Sea of India in a gulf that they call the Black Sea, and the Jews call it 
the Porticun Sea. This Caldea is a very populated and rich land and is very 
abundant in all things. And note that in this kingdom of Caldea is the great 
Tower of Babel that giants built in the middle of a great field that they call 
the Agro de Senabar. And here was the great city of Babilonia, which is 
now destroyed, which belonged to the lord Nebuchadnezzar. And the 
people of this Babilonia split into two parts. Some of them founded Banda- 
cha, a noble city that is in the province of Baldaque, and the others found- 
ed Mistrayn in Egipto. And this is the image of Babilonia with the tower, 
like the one that follows. 

And in this Mestrayn the Jews were captive in the time of Moses. And 
later this Mestrayn was destroyed by the River Nilo, and those who escaped 
inhabited the city of Alcahara where the Sultan of Egipto now resides. And 
I passed a branch of the River Eufi"ates and entered the province of Balda- 
que, in which there is a great city they call Bandacho, which also belonged 
to the lord Nebuchadnezzar. The king of these two provinces has as his 
insignia a silver flag with an emblem like this one. [LXXXIII] 

I departed Bandacha and went to Mesopotania, a great city abundant in 
many things, in which the Emperor Merlinus Tartarus, Lord of Armenia 
Major, was crowned. And I departed Mesopotania and went to a city that 
they call Mon Falcon, and there the River Cur forms a large island they call 
Ansera, on which there is a great city. And beyond this river is the place 
where the city of Ninive used to be, which was destroyed for the sin of 
Sodomia that men committed. And know that this region has many great 
lands and cities and villages, and is surrounded totally by two very large 
rivers. They call one the River Eufrates and the other the River Cur. And 
firom the other side of the Red Sea and the other of the Par^icun Sea up to 



70 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

non posimos aqui senales por que Caldea et Baldaque todo es un senorio et 
toda es una rregion.'^^ 

Party de la isla de Ansera et fuyme por el mo de Cur ayuso muy grand 
camino, fasta que Uegue a la provin^ia de Arabia. Et travese muy grand 
tierra fasta que llegue a la fibdat de Almedina donde nasfio Mahomat, et 
dende fuy a Meca donde esta la ley et el testamento de Mahomat, que esta 
en una area de fierro en una casa de piedra calamita. Et por eso esta en el 
ayre, que nin des^iende ayuso nin sube arriba. Et sabet que esta Meca es la 
cabe^a del ynperio de los alarabes, et sus senales son un pendon bermejo et 
en medio letras de oro aravigas. [LXXXIV] 

Parti de Meca et fuy por el rreyno de Arabia adelante, et llegue a una 
^ibdat muy grande et muy rica et de muchos bienes abondada que dizen 
Fadal, que es ribera del Mar de India, et alii folgue un tienpo. Et entre en 
un navio en la mar et pase a una ysla que dizen Sicroca, muy grande et 
mucho poblada. Et avia en ella una grand ciudad que dezian otrosi Sicro- 
ca, '^-^ et es del rrey de Aravia et trae esas mesmas seiiales que son tales 
commo las de Meca, et es un pendon bermejo con letras aravigas. Et sabed 
que a esta mesma ysla aportan las naves que vienen de India cargadas de 
especias. [LXXXV] 

Parti de la ysla de Sicroca et fuy a otra ysla que dizen Enrro,''''* et fa- 
zese a la entrada del golfo del Mar Perticun, quiere dezir el mar negro. E en 
este golfo cojen el aljofar. E esta ysla Enrro es del Rey de Arabia. E fuymos 
por el dicho golfo adelante contra la transmontana, que fallamos dos mares 
que era el agua della bermeja commo la sangre. E fuemos mas adelante fasta 
la tierra, e fallamos otras dos yslas. A la una dezian Aquisio, apres de la qual 
esta una grand ciudad que dizen Aquisio, et a la otra dizen Hormixio, apres 
de la qual esta otrosi una grand ciudad que dizen Hormixio.'''^ E sabed 
que fasta estas dos ciudades Uega el imperio del Persia et el senorio del 
grand soldan Bena^ayt. E parti del dicho golfo et entre por la provincia de 
Sabba do cojen encienso, e llegue a una grand ciudad que dizen Golfathan, et 
dende a Gepta, et dende a otra que dizen Cabat,'^'' que son muy grandes 
ciudades et muy ricas et muy abondadas, pero que son pobladas de tartaros et 



"^ Both Nand R repeat the previous coat of arms (that of Baghdad) here. 

'"^ Perhaps Fadal is Ra's Fartak, on the southern coast of the Arabian peninsula. From there 
the traveler crosses the Gulf of Aden to the Island of Socotra. 

"* Both Jimenez de la Espada (200) and Markham (70) identify this as Suto, at the entrance 
to the Persian Gulf. 

'^^ Once again Qeshm, and Hormuz. 

"^ The province named here seems to correspond to the part of present-day Oman that 
faces the gulf of the same name. 



The Book of Knowledge 71 

Aquysio, we did not put down the insignia because Caldea and Baldaque 
belong to the same lordship, and it is all one region. 

I departed the island of Ansera and went down the River Cur a long 
way until I reached the province of Arabia. And I crossed a great expanse 
of land until I arrived at the city of Almedina where Mohammed was bom, 
and from there I went to Meca where the law and testament of Moham- 
med is found, which is in an iron chest in a house of lodestone. And for 
this reason it is in the air, and does not descend nor ascend. And note that 
this Meca is the capital of the Empire of the Arabs, and its insignia is a 
vermilion flag, and in the center gold Arabic letters. [LXXXIV] 

I departed Meca and went onward through the kingdom of Arabia, and 
arrived at a very large and rich city abundant in many things that they call 
Fadal, which is on the shore of the Sea of India, and I remained there for 
a time. And I embarked a ship in the sea and went to an island they call Si- 
croca, very large and very populated. And on it there was a city that they 
also call Sicroca, and it belongs to the King of Arabia and has the same in- 
signia as Meca, and it is a vermilion flag with Arabic letters. And know that 
on this same island the ships that come from India laden with spices take 
port. [LXXXV] 

I departed the island of Sicocra and went to another island that they call 
Enrro, which is at the entrance to the Perticun Sea, and it means black sea. 
And in this gulf they collect pearls. And on the island Enrro is the King of 
Arabia. And we went onward through the aforementioned gulf to the north 
and found two seas whose waters were as red as blood. And we went on- 
ward toward land and found two other islands. They call one Aquisio, be- 
yond which is a great city they call Aquisio, and they call the other Hor- 
mixio, beyond which is also a great city they call Hormixio. And know that 
the empire of Persia and the lordship of the great Sultan Benascayt extend 
to these two cities. And I departed the aformentioned gulf and entered the 
province of Sabba where they get incense, and I arrived at a great city that 
they call Golfathan, and from there Gepta, and from there to another that 
they call Cabat, which are very great and rich and abundant cities, but they 
are inhabited by Tartars and people without religion who do not keep one 



72 El libro del coNosgiMiENXo 

de gentes sin ley que non guardan ningund mandamiento de Dios, salvo 
que non fazen mal a otro. Et parti de Sabba et tome me a la ciudad de 
Hormixo de que ya conte de suso, et more un tienpo. Et fiiy dende con 
mercadores muy grand camino et llegamos a un rreynado que dizen Delini, 
et es de los reyes de India et tiene muy grandes tierras et muy pobladas et 
muy ricas. Las que yo an dude son nueve ciudades muy grandes, que les 
dizen Noncla, et Chequimo, et Demonela, et Coximocha, et Granbaet, et 
Ganabrat, et Mahobar, et Gomar, et Colon. '^^ E sabed que en este rey- 
nado de Lini fructifica la pimienta et el gengibre et la gualoc et otras 
muchas especies, et cojen dellas grand muchedunbre que lievan por todo el 
mundo. E a esta provincia Uaman India la arenosa. Et las gentes deste rey- 
nado son negros de color et usan todos traer arcos turques. Et son gentes de 
buenas memorias et sabios en todos los saberes. E las seiiales deste rrey es un 
pendon de plata con un baston de oro tal. [LXXXVI] 

E parti del reynado de Dilini et entre en el regnado de Viguy, que es 
otrosi ribera del Mar de India. Et es tierra muy rica et abondada de todos 
los bienes. Las ciudades que yo andude en el reynado de Viguy son estas: 
Panora, Frumisia, et Tusi, Artillo, et Corsa, et Rusna, et Armonea, et An- 
drovar, et Moncaspi, et Pascar.'^^ Apres deste reynado es una ysla en el 
Mar de India que dizen Sagela en que ay una grand ciudad et rica.'^^ E 
en esta ysla ay almadenes donde sacan oro et plata et otros metales, et sacan 
piedras rubiis muy gordas et otras pequeiias, et otras. En este reynado es 
otrosy un grand monte en que es una rica ciudad que dizen Baxaja. E en 
este monte otrosy ay almadenes de todos los metales, et principal mente 
sacan muy gordas esmeraldas. Este reynado parte con el imperio de Arma- 
let,^*^^ et con el reyno de Lini, et con el Mar de India. E sabed que este 
Mar de India es un bra^o que entra del grand Mar Oriental,'*^' e dizen 
algunos que atraviesa toda la tierra fasta el Mar Occidental. E los sabios 
dizen le el Mar Meridional. E deste mar fasta el Polo Antartico es una grand 
tierra que es la de^ima parte de la faz de la tierra, e quando el sol es en 
Tropico de Capricomio pasa el sol sobre las cabecas de los pobladores, a los 



'^^ The traveler crosses the Arabian Sea to India, and treks to Delhi (here, Delini) and other 
cities of the kingdom. 

''* Jimenez de la Espada (245) conjectures that the Kingdom of Viguy was between Delhi 
and the Bay of Bengal. 

'^' The present-day island of Sri Lanka. 

""' The identity of this kingdom is difficult to determine. 

'»' The Pacific. 



The Book of Knowledge 73 

of God's commandments, except that they do not do harm to one another. 
And I departed Sabba and headed for the city of Hormixio of which I told 
above, and I stayed there for a time. And from there I went with merchants 
a long way and we reached a kingdom they call Delini, and it belongs to 
the kings of India and has many great inhabited and rich lands. The ones I 
traveled are nine very large cities that they call Noncla, and Chequimo and 
Demonela and Coximocha and Granbaet and Ganabrat and Mahobar and 
Gomar and Colon. And know that in this kingdom of Lini pepper and 
ginger and gualoc and many other spices grow, and they harvest a great 
amount of them that they take all over the world. And they call this prov- 
ince India the Sandy. And the people of this kingdom are black in color 
and they all use Turkish bows. And they are people of good memory and 
are wise in all kinds of knowledge. And the insignia of this king is a silver 
flag with a gold pale, like this. [LXXXVI] 

And I departed the kingdom of Dilini and entered the kingdom of 
Viguy, which is also on the shores of the Sea of India. And it is a rich land 
abundant in all things. The cities in which I was in the kingdom of Viguy 
are these: Panora, Frumisia, and Tusi, Artillo, and Corsa and Rusna and 
Armonea and Androvar and Moncaspi and Pascar. Beyond this kingdom is 
an island in the Sea of India that they call Sagela on which there is a great 
and rich city. And on this island there are mines where they get gold and 
silver and other metals, and they mine very large and some smaller rubies 
and other stones. And in this kingdom is also a great mountain in which 
there is a rich city they call Baxaja. And in this mountain there are also 
mines of all metals, and they principally mine very large emeralds. This 
kingdom borders on the Empire of Armalet and with the kingdom of Lini, 
and with the Sea of India. And note that this Sea of India is a branch that 
enters the great Eastern Sea, and some say that it crosses the whole Earth up 
to the Western Sea. And the wise men call it the South Sea. And from this 
sea to the Antarctic Pole there is a great expanse of land that is one tenth 
of the face of the Earth, and when the Sun is in the Tropic of Capricorn 
it passes over the heads of the inhabitants, which the wise men call the 



74 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENXO 

quales llaman los sabios antipodas.'^^ Et son gentes negras quemadas de la 
grand calentura del sol, pero que es tierra en que son muchas aguas que 
salen del Polo Antartico. Et llaman los sabios a esta tierra Trapovana,'**-' et 
confina con la ysla de Java et Uega fasta el poniente, pero que traviesa por 
medio de un bra^o del mar grande que fircunrrodea toda la tierra et metese 
en el Mar de India. E sabed que en la ysla de Java et Trapovana son qua- 
renta et ^inco regiones muy grandes, et lo mas destas tierras es deshabitado 
por la muy grand calentura del sol, pero que en lo que es poblado cojen 
mucha pimienta et muchas otras espe^ias. Et aqui son los grandes grifos et 
las grandes cocatrizes. E el rey dende ha por sefiales un pendon de plata con 
un baston de oro tal. [LXXXVII] 

Dende parti del reynado de Viguy et pase un golfo del Mar de India que 
dizen el Golfo de Bangalia, por que en la ribera del es una rica ciudad que 
dizen Bangala del imperio de Armelet, et es cabe^a de rreynado. E dende 
pase al reynado de Oxanap que es otrosy ribera del Mar de India. E son en 
este reynado quatro ciudades grandes. La primera es Moroa, et Cortomar, 
et Sorfaxa, et Xaloat.^^'* E esta Xaloat confina con el imperio de Catayo, 
e en su ribera deste Xaloat es el Mar Verde, '^^ que es un golfo que entra 
del Mar de India entre este Oxanap et la ysla de Java. El Rey de Oxanap ha 
por sefiales un pendon de plata con un baston de oro tal. [LXXXVIII] 

D'alli parti del reynado de Oxanap et entre en una nao con mercadores, 
et travesamos el Mar Verde. Et aportamos a la insula de Java que es dentro 
en el Mar de India, et es muy grand ysla que ha en luengo quarenta jor- 
nadas. E son en esta ysla tres rreynos muy grandes. Al uno dizen Mogoles, 
et al otro Javales, et al otro Manbrot.^^'' E es tierra muy poblada, pero que 
no ay ciudades por que todos los moradores biven en los canpos, et cogen 
muchas especias, et mucha pimienta, et muchas gomas odoriferas. Como 
quier que es tierra muy caliente. Et las gentes son negras et adoran al En- 
perador de Catayo, cuyos vasallos son. Et traen su ymagen en los pendones 
desta manera.i^^ [LXXXIX] 



'*^ The antipodeans, other creatures of medieval lore, resided at the other extreme of the 
Earth and were black from over-exposure to the sun. 

'*^ According to Jimenez de la Espada (261), Trapovana is Australia; Markham (43, n.2) is 
probably correct in his assertion that it is Sumatra; he states that the name Taprobana originally 
referred to Sri Lanka, but during the Middle Ages is was applied to Sumatra. 

'"^ The Kingdom of Oxanap is probably Burma. 

'*■"' The sea referred to could be the South China, which is in the area described here. 

""' Mogoles is probably named for the race of people who inhabited it. 

'*' N and R show the Emperor seated, with a sword in his right hand and a sphere in his 
left. The oudined, horizontal flag is left blank in S, but Markham (plate 16, facing p. 40) illus- 
trates a vertical banner with the Emperor as just described, and it labels it with S. 



The Book of Knowledge 7_5 

antipodeans. And they are black people, burnt from the great heat of the 
sun, but it is a land in which there are many waters that come from the 
Antarctic Pole. And the wise men call this land Trapovana, and it borders 
on the island of Java and extends westward, but it crosses through a branch 
of the great sea that surrounds all the land and flows into the Sea of India. 
And note that in this island of Java and Trapovana there are forty-five very 
large regions, and the largest of these lands is uninhabited because of the 
great heat of the sun, but in the inhabited part they harvest a lot of pepper 
and many other spices. And here can be found large grifiQns and crocodiles. 
And the king has as his insignia a silver flag with a gold pale, like this. 
[LXXXVII] 

From there I departed the kingdom of Viguy and passed a gulf of the 
Sea of India that they call the Gulf of Bangalia because on its shore is a rich 
city that they call Bangala of the Empire of Armelet, and it is the capital of 
the kingdom. And from there I went to the kingdom of Oxanap that is also 
on the shores of the Sea of India. And in this kingdom there are four large 
cities. The first is Moroa, and Cortomar and Sorfaxa and Xaloat. And this 
Xaloat borders on the Empire of Catayo, and on the shores of the Xaloat is 
the Green Sea, which is a gulf that enters the Sea of India between this 
Oxanap and the island of Java. The King of Oxanap has as his insignia a 
silver flag with a gold pale, hke this. [LXXXVIII] 

From there I departed the kingdom of Oxanap and embarked a ship 
with merchants, and we crossed the Green Sea. And we took port at the 
island of Java that is in the Sea of India, and it is a great island that is forty- 
days' journey long. And there are three great kingdoms on this island. They 
call one Mogoles, and the other Javales, and the other Manbrot. And it is 
an inhabited land, but there are no cities because all the inhabitants live in 
the countryside and harvest many spices, and a lot of pepper and fragrant 
gums. Nevertheless it is a very hot land. And the people are black and wor- 
ship the Emperor of Catayo, whose vassals they are. And they have his 
image on their flags, in this manner. [LXXXIX] 



76 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

Sali de la ysla de Java et tomeme al rreyno de Oxanap, et tome camino 
por la tierra al imperio de Armalet, que tiene muy grandes provincias et 
muchas ^ibdades. Las fibdades que yo andude son estas: la primera et la 
mayor do coronan los reyes es Canbalech, que es cabe^a del inperio, et es 
una de las grandes ^ibdades del mundo; e otra que dizen Orga, et otra que 
dizen Balaxia donde es un almaden donde sacan los balaxes, et otra que 
dizen Menoar, et Almodasi, et La^eria, et Noranda, et Rafama.^^*^ E este 
imperio parte con el rreyno de Lini, et con el rreyno de Viguy, et con el 
Golfo de Vangala, et con el imperio de Catayo. Et las sefiales deste imperio 
son un pendon de plata con un baston de oro tal. pCC] 

Parti del imperio de Armalet et fuy me por la tierra muy grand camino, 
e como quier que es muy poblado de gentes et de ganados, pero que no ay 
^ibdades nin villas por que todos biven en los canpos. Et Uegue al imperio 
de Catayo, et todas las mas de sus ^ibdades son ribera del Mar Oriental que 
se tiene con el Mar de India. E este Mar Oriental es todo baxios et yslas, et 
dende en adelante contra el levante non ay nuevas de ningunas tierras salvo 
aguas como en el poniente. E sabed que Catayo es el cabo de la faz de la 
tierra en la liiia de Espaiia, et parte con el imperio de Armalet a la parte del 
poniente, et al levante con el Mar Oriental, e a la parte del nort parte con 
los Montes Caspios que tienen la Tartaria ^ercada.'^^ E las fibdades que 
yo ay andude del imperio de Catayo son estas: Solin, et Godiana, et Mago- 
diana, et Morrosia, et Facolisia, et Dardasan, et Tordaor, et Bocarda, et As- 
tania, et Longavisa.^"^^ E rriega se este imperio de tres rrios muy grandes 
que nascen de los Montes Caspios, que se parten en muchas partidas. El 
mayor destos rrios dizen el flumen Magot por que nasce apres del castillo de 
Magot, que es una de las puertas de la Tartaria cercada. Este flumen Magot 
entra en el Mar Verde, et los otros dos rrios en el Mar de Java. Llaman a 
este emperador Gosnian Imperator Morroy, Grand Can, Senor de la parte 
de oriente.^^' E sus sefiales son un pendon de oro et en medio un em- 
perador asentado con paiios blancos, et tiene corona imperial en la cabe^a, 
et en la mano un arco torque, et en la otra mano una man^ana de oro desta 
manera. pCCI] 



'^ The first city named is perhaps the present-day Beijing; the rest are difficult to identify. 

"' The Caspians here described refer to a mountain range in Central Asia which include the 
Himalayas and the Caucasus. 

''"' Solin was the capital of this empire, either Beijing or near it in the estimation of 
Markham (71). 

'*" Jimenez de la Espada (162-63) guesses that the tide could mean "Great Emperor of 
Muren" (a Tartar region) but offers no further identification of the person. 



The Book of Knowledge 11^ 

I left the island of Java and turned to the kingdom of Oxanap, and 
followed the land route to the empire of Armalet, which has many great 
provinces and many cities. The cities that I traveled are these: the first and 
largest, where they crown their kings, is Canbalech, which is the capital of 
the empire, and it is one of the greatest cities in the world; they call the 
other Orga, and the other they call Balaxia, where there is a mine where 
they get rubies, and another they call Menoar, and Almodasi and La^eria 
and Noranda and Rafama. And this empire borders the Kingdom of Lini 
and the Kingdom of Viguy and the Gulf of Bangalia, and the Empire of 
Catayo. And the insignia of this empire is a silver flag with a gold pale, like 
this. [XC] 

I departed the Empire of Armalet and went by land a great distance, and 
although it is very populated with people and cattle, there are nevertheless 
no cities or towns because everyone lives in the countryside. And I reached 
the Empire of Catayo, and most of its cities are on the shores of the Eastern 
Sea that borders the Sea of India. And this Eastern Sea is all sandbanks and 
islands, and fi-om there on eastward there is no news of any lands, only 
waters as in the west. And know that Catayo is the end of the face of the 
Earth in the Hne of Espaiia, and it borders on the empire of Armalet on the 
western side, and in the east with the Eastern Sea, and in the north with the 
Caspios Mountains that have Tartaria surrounded. And the cities that I trav- 
eled in the Empire of Catayo are these: Solin and Godiana and Magodiana 
and Morrosia and Facolisia and Dardasan and Tordaor and Bocarda, and 
Astania and Longavisa. And three very large rivers, which originate in the 
Caspios Mountains, irrigate this empire, and they branch into many parts. 
The largest of these rivers they call the River Magot because it originates 
beyond the castle of Magot, which is one of the entrances to encircled 
Tartaria. This River Magot enters the Green Sea, and the other two rivers 
[enter] the Java Sea. They call this emperor Gosnian Imperator Morroy, 
Great Can, Lord of the East. And his insignia is a gold flag and in its center 
an emperor seated with white clothing, and he has an imperial crown on 
his head, and in his hand a Turkish bow, and in the other hand a gold 
apple, in this manner. [XCI] 



78 El libro del conosqimiento 

Los caminos ^iertos para Catayo son dos. El uno es por Costantinopla et 
travesar el Mar Mayor, et entrar por el Mar de Letana, et entrar por tierra 
de Avegazia, et dende entrar por tierra del Rey David, et pasar apres de Ar- 
menia la Mayor, et atravesar todo el rreyno de Armenia la Mayor, et yr al 
Puerto del Fierro, et desi entrar en el Mar de Sara, et yr a la Ysla de Janula 
por el Golfo de Monimenti, et salir en la ^ibdad de Trastago, et dende 
tomar camino para Norgan^ia, et dende travesar los Montes Caspios, et desi 
a la fibdad de Cato, et dende al rreynado de Bocarin, et atravesar toda Asia 
que non fallara fibdades nin villas fasta el imperio de Catayo. ^^^ El otro 
camino es entrar en el Mar Mediterraneo et yr a la ysla de Chipre, et dende 
a Armenia la Mayor, et dende a la ^ibdad de Savasco que es en la Turquia, 
et yr camino fasta el rrio Eufirates et travesallo en la fibdad de Argot, et 
travesar el imperio de Mesopotania, et desi llegar al rrio de Cur et travesarlo 
por el rreyno de la Eglesia, que es el imperio de Persia, et travesar toda 
Persia et yr por la ^ibdad de Toris, et dexar el Mar de Sara a la parte sin- 
iestra, et travesar todo el rreyno de Siras, que no ay fibdad nin villas, et tra- 
vesar otrosi el rreynado de Sarmagant, et yr siempre contra el levante por el 
rreynado de S^im. Esta S^im no es de la que de suso fablamos, por que la 
otra Sfim es en India la alta et confina con el Mar Oriental, el qual confina 
con el imperio de Catayo. Pero que S^im fasta Catayo non ay fibdad nin 
villa por que los moradores biven todos en los canpos.'^^ 

Parti del imperio de Catayo contra el nort et el flumen Magot arriba, et 
andude sesenta et finco jomadas et non falle villa nin fibdad, pero que la 
tierra es toda poblada de gentes et de ganados, et es toda la tierra liana et 
non ay piedras, nin arbores, nin las gentes comen pan nin fructos, salvo tan 
sola mente came et leche, pero siembran una semiente que dizen monos et 
es asi como ajonjoli. Et siembranla en qual quier parte del ano et nasce 
luego et cojenla fasta treinta dias. La cojen grand muchedunbre della. E 
desta monos lan^an en la leche et cuezenla et fazen sabrosos manjares que 
comen todos, et dan a los viandantes. E estas gentes han muchos cavallos sin 
cuenta, et no comen fevada por que la no ay, mas comen yerva verde et 
seca. E ay grand muchedunbre por que es la tierra muy tenplada. Desi 
Uegue a los Montes Caspios al Castillo de Magot. E sabed que estos montes 



"- The first route to Cathay begins in Constantinople, crosses the Black Sea, passes the Sea 
of Azov (the old Sea of Tana) and Armenia, enters the Caspian Sea (Jimenez de la Espada, n.L), 
heads for the Island of Kulaly in the Caspian, then arrives in China, where it crosses the 
Himalayas and continues by traversing the rest of Asia to Cathay. 

'" The other route to Cathay passes Cyprus, Armenia, and Turkey on the way to the banks 
of the Euphrates, crosses Iraq to the Tigris River, passes through Iran and its old capital Tabriz, 
continues through Samarkand (Uzbekistan), then heads east, finally reaching Cathay. 



The Book of Knowledge 79^ 

There are two certain routes to Catayo. One is through Constantinopla, 
crossing the Great Sea, and entering the Letana Sea, and entering the land 
of Avegazia, and from there entering the land of King David, and then 
passing Armenia Major and crossing the whole kingdom of Armenia Major, 
and going to the Port Fierro, and from there entering the Sea of Sara, then 
going to the island of Janula through the Gulf of Monimenti, and ending 
up in the city of Trastago, and then taking the road to Norgan^ia, and then 
crossing the Caspios Mountains, and from there to the city of Cato, and 
from there to the kingdom of Bocarin, and crossing all of Asia where you 
will not find cities nor towns until the Empire of Catayo. The other route 
is entering the Mediterraneo Sea and going to the island of Chipre, and 
from there to Armenia Major, and from there to the city of Savasco that is 
in Turquia, and going along until the River Eufrates and crossing it in the 
city of Argot, and crossing the empire of Mesopotania, and from there 
reaching the River Cur and crossing it in the kingdom of Eglesia, which is 
in the empire of Persia, and crossing all of Persia and going through the city 
of Toris, and leaving the Sea of Sara on your left, and crossing the whole 
kingdom of Siras, where there are no cities or towns, and also crossing the 
Kingdom of Sarmagant, and going always eastward through the Kingdom 
of S^im. This S^im is not the one we mentioned above, because the other 
S^im is in High India and borders on the Eastern Sea, which borders on the 
Empire of Catayo. But from S^im to Catayo there is no city nor town be- 
cause the inhabitants live in the country. 

I departed the Empire of Catayo going north, up the River Magot, and 
I traveled sixty-five days and did not find a town nor city, but the land is 
inhabited with people and cattle, and it is all flat land and there are no 
stones, nor trees, nor do the people eat bread or fi-uit, except only meat and 
milk, but they sow a seed they call monos, and it is like sesame. And they 
sow it at any time of the year and it then grows and they reap it after thirty 
days. They harvest a great amount of it. And they put this monos in milk 
and cook it and make delicious dishes that everyone eats, and they give it 
to travelers. And these people have numerous horses, and they do not eat 
barley because there is none, but they eat green and dry grass. And there 
is abundance because it is a very temperate land. From there I reached 
the Caspios Mountains and the castle of Magot. And know that these 



80 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

son muy altos sin mesura et ^ircunrrodean la Tartaria de mar a mar, et asy 
que no ay mas de una sola entrada muy angosta. E de una parte desta 
entrada es un castillo todo de piedra magnita ferrea, todo entero, que lo fizo 
desta manera la natura, et confina con las nuves. E del pie del sale el flumen 
Magoti. E luego de la otra parte es otro castillo que dizen Got, desa mesma 
piedra et tan alto commo el otro que dizen Magot. E son estos castillos en 
fima muy altos et muy anchos, de manera que en cada uno pueden morar 
diez mill omes. E entre el un castillo et el otro estan las puertas del fierro, que 
es la entrada de la Tartaria ^ercada. Et esta su figura de Got et Magot. ''^"^ 

E dentro de aquellos montes es toda la tierra liana sin piedras et sin 
arbores, et tierra muy tenplada et abondada de muchos ganados. Et ay en 
luengo fient jomadas et en ancho setenta, et es todo fercado destos Montes 
Caspios. Et de la parte oriental ^erca la toda la mar, et otrosi muy grandes 
roquedales. Dentro desta Tartaria son muchedunbre de gentes sin cuenta, et 
non guardan ningund mandamiento de Dios salvo non fazer mal a otro. Et 
son gentes muy esentas et fuertes lidiadores de pie et de cavallo, en tal 
manera que el Grant Alexandre no los pudo conquerir nin les pudo entrar 
aquellos montes, pero que los en^erro et atapoles las puertas del fierro con 
grandes peiias, en tal manera que estodieron gran tienpo en aquel en^er- 
ramiento. E despues desto delibraron se de aquel en^erramiento et salieron 
et conquirieron muy gran partida del mundo.'^^ Por que de aquel linaje 
salieron todos los del imperio de Catayo, maguer agora son contrarios. E 
dese linaje salieron los del imperio de Armalet, et del imperio de Aravia, et 
de Mesopotania, et todos los persianos, et los del imperio de Sara, asi turcos 
commo tartaros, et saraynos, et godos, como quier que algunos deUos se 
tomaron a la ley de Abraham et otros se tornaron moros. E dizen los sabios 
de la Tartaria que quando se conplieren los siete mil anos de la era de Adam 
seran seiiores de toda la faz de la tierra, et que faran tomar todas las gentes 
del mundo a su ley et a su libertad. E fierto ellos non han ley ninguna, nin 
guardan ningund mandamiento de Dios salvo non fazer mal a otro. E esta 
Tartaria ferrada es la quarta parte de la faz de toda la tierra. Et en medio 
desta tierra es una laguna de mar que dizen Mare Tabasur.^^** Et las gentes 



'''* In R only, there is a sketch of the castle described here. 

'" Gog and Magog, two tribes led by Satan, were thought to be in the north of Asia. The 
Bible mentions them in several places, warning that on Judgement Day they would bring about 
the destruction of the world. Legend has it that Alexander the Great built walls of bronze, pitch, 
and brimstone to enclose these people, and medieval maps generally show Gog and Magog 
behind such walls. In the Middle Ages many different versions of this apocryphal story appear, 
including one which has Alexander enclosing these people behind the walls (Wright 72—73, 287— 
88; Markham 45, n.2). 

'"" Markham (48) identifies this body of water as "Lake Lob." 



The Book of Knowledge 81_ 

mountains are very high, without measure, and they surround Tartaria from 
sea to sea, so that there is no more than one narrow entrance. And on one 
side of this entrance is a castle all of magnet iron stone, all of it entirely, 
since nature made it that way, and it reaches to the clouds. And from its 
foot the River Magoti flows. And then on the other side is another castle 
they call Got, made of that same stone and as high as the other that they 
call Magot. And these castles are very high and narrow on the top, so that 
on each one 10,000 men can live. And between one and the other castle 
there are iron gates, which are the entrance to encircled Tartaria. And this 
is the image of Got and Magot. 

And within those mountains there is just flat land without stones and 
without trees, and [it is] a very temperate and abundant land with many 
cattle. And it is in length a 100-days' journey and in width sixty, and it is 
totally surrounded by these Caspios Mountains. And on the eastern side the 
sea surrounds all of it, and also many great rocky places. Within this Tartaria 
there are innumerable persons, and they do not keep any of God's com- 
mandments except not to harm one another. And they are very free and 
strong fighters on foot and on horse, so that Alexander the Great could not 
conquer them nor enter those mountains, but he enclosed them and shut 
the iron gates with large rocks so that they were enclosed for a long time. 
And after this they freed themselves from this enclosure and got out and 
conquered a great part of the world. Despite the fact that from that lineage 
came all of the empire of Catayo, they are now hostile to one another. And 
from this hneage came all of the Empire of Armalet, and the Empire of 
Arabia, and of Mesopotania, and all the Persians, and those of the Empire 
of Sara, Turks as well as Tartars, and Saracens and Goths, although some of 
them converted to the law of Abraham and others became Moors. And the 
wise men of Tartaria say that when 7000 years of the era of Adam are com- 
pleted, they will be lords of the whole face of the Earth and they will make 
all the people in the world convert to their law and their freedom. And it 
is true that they have no religion at all, nor do they keep any of God's 
commandments, except not to harm others. And this encircled Tartaria is 
one fourth of the face of the Earth. And in the middle of this land is a great 
lagoon they call the Tabasur Sea. And the people of this land they call 



82 El libro del coNOsgiMiENTO 

desta tierra Uaman mogoles et a la tierra dizen Tierra de Mogolin, et Tierra 
de Tagojar, et Tierra de Got et Magot. E con estos montes confina el 
imperio de Catayo. Et en este castillo de Magot more un tienpo por que 
veya et oya cada dia cosas maravillosas. E ala parte del nort confinan con la 
Tartaria ^errada las tierras de Albizibi,''^^ que son tierras yermas et des- 
habitadas, pero que en algunos lugares habitan gentes, et son omes viles et 
comen la came et los pescados crudos et han los rostros luengos como 
canes, pero que son blancos et fazen todas las cosas que veen fazer, et Ua- 
manlos sinofalos.^^** Et yo vi uno dellos en la fibdad de Norgan^io. En el 
imperio de Catayo ay un rreynado que dizen S^im que confina con el 
rreyno de Sarmagant, et con el rreyno de Bocarin, et con el rreyno de 
Trimit.^^^ E este rreyno de S^im es en India la alta, que confina con el 
Mar Oriental que es fin de la tierra. E deste rreyno de S^im sale el grand 
monte Cancasum que traviesa desde'l Mar Oriental fasta el Mar de India la 
Baxa. E el rreyno de Trimit es todo ^ercado de montes de que nas^en 
muchas fiientes et rios. Et es tierra muy tenplada et muy egualada, de ma- 
nera que los omes que alii biven et nas^en son de grand vida que biven mas 
de dozientos afios. Et son omes de buenos entendimientos, et sanas memo- 
rias, et han profiindas s^ien^ias, et biven por ley. Et dizen que los omes del 
mundo que primera mente ovieron sfientias et saberes que fiaeron estos, et 
de aqui los ovieron los persianos, et por eso meresfieron la nobleza mas que 
todos los otros omes. Por que no se egualaron a estos en s^ientia nin en sa- 
beres, et por esto meresfieron la nobleza sobre todos. E esto es por que son 
en el comien^o del oriente de lo poblado, et las mas de sus villas et sus 
grandes 9ibdades, et la rayz deste rreynado es en la clima de medio, onde 
son las naturas tenpladas. Et tiempran se y los cuerpos et los elementos, et 
alegranse y et estiendense y los spiritus. Et por ende han mejores entendi- 
mientos et mas sanas memorias, et por esto meres^ieron la mayor nobleza. 
En pos estos son los de India que son sola liiia equino^ial. E maguer la su 
tierra es de grand calentura, pero las mas de sus villas son rribera del mar et 
son muchas yslas, et por eso el ayre res^ibe humidad del mar con que se 
tiempra la sequedad et la calentura. Et con esto se fezieron de fermosos 



''' Jimenez de la Espada (259) asks whether this might be Siberia, while Markham (71) 
thinks it could be part of Mongolia. 

"" The cynocephali were reputed to have the heads and paws of dogs, and to bark as well. 
They were mentioned by Pliny and Solinus, and drawings of them often appeared on mappae- 
mundi. R includes an illustration of two of these creatures. 

''^'' Trimit is Tibet. According to Markham (49, n.3) this is the earliest European account of 
the Tibetans that exists. 



The Book of Knowledge 83 

Mogols and they call the land Land of Mogolin, and Land of Tagojar, and 
Land of Got and Magot. And these mountains border the Empire of 
Catayo. And in this castle of Magot I lived for a time because every day I 
saw and heard marvelous things. And to the north the lands of Albizibi 
border on encircled Tartaria, which are barren and uninhabited lands, but 
people live in some places, and they are vile men and they eat raw meat 
and fish and have long faces like dogs, but they are white and do everything 
they see done, and they call them cynocephali. And I saw one of them in 
the capital of Norgan^io. In the Empire of Catayo there is a kingdom they 
call Sf im that borders on the Kingdom of Sarmagant and the Kingdom of 
Bocarin and the Kingdom of Trimit. And this Kingdom of S9im is in Upper 
India, that borders on the Eastern Sea, which is the end of the earth. And 
from the Kingdom of S^im there emerges the great mountain Cancasum 
that crosses firom the Eastern Sea to the Sea of Lower India. And this King- 
dom of Trimit is totally surrounded by mountains firom which many springs 
and rivers originate. And it is a very temperate and healthy land, so that the 
men that live and are bom here have a long life and live more than 200 
years. And they are men of good understanding and healthy memory, and 
they are very learned in science, and live by the law of religion. And they 
say that these were the first men in the world to have science and knowl- 
edge, and the Persians got them here, and for that reason they merited 
nobility more than any other men because they were not equalled in sci- 
ence nor in other knowledge, and for that reason they merited nobility 
above all others. And this is because they are at the beginning of the east of 
populated lands, and the majority of their towns and their great cities, and 
the root of this kingdom is in the temperate climate, where nature is tem- 
perate. And their bodies and elements are tempered there and they are 
happy there and it has extended to their spirits. And therefore they have 
better understanding and healthier memories, and for this reason they merit- 
ed greater nobility. After them are those firom India, that are below the 
celestial equator. And although their land is very hot, the majority of their 
towns are on the shores of the sea and there are many islands, and for this 
reason the air receives moisture from the sea with which the dryness and 
the heat are tempered. And in this way they derived beautiful bodies and 



84 El libro del coNosgiMiENTO 

cuerpos et de apuestas formas et de leznes cabellos, et non les faze al la 
calentura salvo que los faze bafos de color. India la Alta confina con el Mar 
Oriental et es llamado Mare Sericun o Mare Cancasur por los Montes 
Caucasos.^^ E en este mar es una grand ysla que dizen Insula Manzie, e 
despues desta es fallada otra que dizen Insula Paradisa.^"^ Et de aqui se 
departe un grand golfo que entra por la tierra et traviesala toda fasta que 
entra en el poniente. Et llaman lo el Mar de India. E rribera deste mar es 
India la alta et India la arenosa et todas las fibdades de Nubia. E sabed que 
el agua deste mar es caliente commo agua de bafio, et crian se en el muy 
grandes pescados. E los otros dos rreynados son en la partida o^idental del 
poblado. El primero dellos es la tierra de Babilonia et de Persia, que son 
tenprada gente por que son en medio de las climas en el lugar do son las 
naturas et las conplisiones tenpladas ca son en el comien^o del medio o^i- 
dental del poblado. E por eso son otrosi sotiles et de buenas memorias, et 
entremeten se en las s^ien^ias et de los saberes et han senorio et setas et 
leyes. Et por esto meres^ieron la nobleza, mas por que son en la partida 
occidental menguales la calentura ya quanto. E por esto son en el segundo 
grado de la nobleza de los orientales. E por esto los rromanos que son en la 
clima quinta et toman de la sexta ya quanto, et han seiiorio et ley et s^i- 
encias et saberes, como quier que menos que los otros. E por eso son ufa- 
nosos et orguUosos et libradores et guerreros et soberbios. Mas los de S^im 
meresfieron la nobleza sobre todos. Et en este rreyno de S^im falle quatro 
^ibdades grandes. A la una dizen Catigora, et a la otra Qebia, et a la otra 
Cufi, et Ba^erta.^'^^ E las seiiales del rrey de Scim son un pendon de plata 
et en medio la figura del sol tal. [XCII] 

(^iertas despues desto parti me del castillo de Magot, donde more un 
tienpo, et vine con otras conpanas contra el poniente treynta et finco jor- 
nadas al rreynado de Bocarin, a do mora siempre el rrey. Et es una ^ibdad 
muy grande, et corre por ella un rrio que nas^e de los Montes Caspios. E 
en todo este rreyno non ay mas ^ibdades por que los pobladores del moran 
en los canpos con sus ganados. Aqui falle mercadores cristianos que venian 
de Catayo, et vyn con ellos treynta et ^inco jornadas a otra ^ibdad que 
dizen Cato, que es cabefa del rreynado que tiene muy grandes tierras, pero 
todos los moradores biven en los campos salvo una fibdad sola, do mora el 



^"" This body of water seems to be the South China Sea. 
^"' The first is Manji, followed by Taiwan. 

^"^ Markham (50, n.l) believes that S^im might be a legendary kingdom or perhaps the old 
realm of Siam. 



The Book of Knowledge 85 

elegant forms and fine hair, and the heat does nothing else to them except 
make them brown in color. High India borders on the Eastern Sea and is 
called Mare Sericun or Mare Cancasur for the Caucasos Mountains. And in 
this sea there is a large island they call Insula Manzie, and after this one is 
found another they call Insula Paradisa. And fi^om here flows a great gulf 
that penetrates the land and crosses it completely until it enters the west. 
And they call it the Sea of India. And on the shores of the sea is High India 
and India the Sandy and all the cities of Nubia. And know that the water 
of this sea is as hot as bath water, and many large fish are bred there. And 
the other two kingdoms are on the western side of the land. The first of 
these is the land of Babilonia and of Persia, [in] which [there] are temperate 
people because they are in the middle of the climates in the place where 
their natures and dispositions are temperate, for they are at the entrance to 
the middle west of the land. And for this reason they are also keen-minded 
and of good memory, and they study the sciences and other knowledge and 
they have government and sects and religions. And for this reason they 
merited nobility, because they are on the western side, suffering a bit less 
heat. And for this reason they are in the second grade of eastern nobility. 
And for this reason the Romans, that are in the fifth climate and even the 
sixth somewhat, have government and religion and sciences and knowledge, 
although less than others. And for that reason they are arrogant and proud 
and free and warlike and haughty. But those from S^im merited nobility 
above all others. And in this kingdom of S^im I found four large cities. 
They call one Catigora, and the other (^ebia, and the other Cufi, and Ba- 
ferta. And the insignia of the King of S^im is a silver flag with a figure of 
the sun in the center. [XCII] 

After this I departed the castle of Magot, where I resided for a time, and 
came westward with some companions thirty-five days to the Kingdom of 
Bocarin, where the king always resides. And it is a very large city, and 
through it runs a river that originates in the Caspios Mountains. And in all 
this kingdom there are no other cities because its inhabitants live in the 
countryside with their cattle. There I encountered some Christian mer- 
chants who were coming to Catayo, and I came with them thirty-six days 
to another city they call Cato, which is the capital of the kingdom and has 
many great lands, but all the inhabitants live in the countryside except for 
one city where the king resides. And this kingdom of Cato borders the 



86 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

rrey. Et este rreynado de Cato confina con el inperio de Medio que es 
entre Nori et Levante, que dizen Inperio Medorun. Estos dos reyes han por 
senales sendos pendones amarillos con estrellas blancas muchas. pCCIII] 

Desi partimos del rreynado de Cato et andodimos muy grand camino 
que no fallamos villa nin fibdad, pero que es la tierra poblada de gentes et 
de ganados. Et fallamos un monte muy alto que se aparta de los Montes 
Caspios et llega fasta el Mar de Sara. Este monte es en luengo 9iento et 
veynte finco jomadas, que atraviesa Asia fasta el Mar de Sara. Et atrave- 
samos el dicho monte por un puerto muy alto et andodimos muy gran ca- 
mino por una tierra muy abondada, maguer non ay ^ibdades nin villas, fasta 
que Uegamos a una grand fibdad que dizen Norgan^io, que es del imperio 
de Uxbeco.^^-' Et corre por esta giibdad un grand rrio que dizen Organ^io 
que nas^e de aquel monte que se aparta de los Montes Caspios. E el rrey 
desta Norganfia ha por senales un pendon bianco con estas senales bermejas, 
Uxbeco Enperador de Sara atal.^o^ [XCIV] 

Partimos de Norgan9io et andudimos treynta jornadas que non ay villa 
nin ^ibdad, pero que ay abondo de leche et cames et de monos. Et Uegamos 
al Mar de Sara a una fibdad que dizen Raansinlia, que es ^erca del Golfo de 
Monimenti.^^^ Et alii more un tienpo. E despues entre en la Mar de Sara 
en una nave de comaneses cristianos et travesamos todo el mar et aportamos 
en una ^ibdad que dizen Godaspi, que es del imperio de Benascayt, Empe- 
rador de Persia.^^^ E apres della entra en la mar un grand rrio que dizen 
Tigris, que nas^e de los Montes del Toro. Et entre por aquel rrio arriba por 
la rribera fasta que Uegue a los Montes del Toro, que son en medio de la faz 
de la tierra et son en el imperio de Persia. De los quales montes nas^en 
quatro rrios muy grandes. Al uno dizen el flumen Tigris, que entra en el 
Mar de Sara entre dos ^ibdades que dizen Godaspi et Sarmagante, que son 



^"■' The Kingdom of Shah Usbek (1292-1341) figures on the Catalan Atlas, where it covers 
the territory between the Caspian Sea and the Ural Mountains. Nearby is the river Amu Dar'ya; 
on its shores is a city called Urgench, which resolves the identity of the river Organ^io and the 
city Norganfio or Norgan^ia. 

^"'' According to Pasch (29), the sign on this banner, as depicted in all three codices, is that 
of the Uzbek emperors. 

^"^ Markham (51) says that this city might be the present-day Astrakhan and the gulf in 
which it is situated may be Mertvoy, which is just across the Caspian. 

^"^ Benascayt is Abu Said Jan Bahadur, Sultan of Persia from 1317 to 1335 (Markham 51, 
n.8, and Jimenez de la Espada 166-67). The city referred to was apparendy somewhere on the 
Caspian. 

On the plains of Russia lived a tribe called the Kotnans (Cumans) who dwelled in tents and 
ate a diet of raw meat, rice, and milk. They are mentioned in several places, including Benjamin 
of Tudela's travel account (Wright 331-14). 



The Book of Knowledge 



Empire of Medio which is between Nori and Levante, which they call the 
Medorun Empire. These two kings have as their insignia each a yellow flag 
with many white stars. [XCIII] 

From there we departed the kingdom of Cato and traveled a long way 
and did not find a town or city, but it is a land very populated by people 
and cattle. And we found very high mountains that juts off the Caspios 
Mountains and extend to the Sea of Sara. This mountain is in length a 125- 
days' journey and crosses Asia all the way to the Sea of Sara. And we 
crossed the aformentioned mountain by a very high pass and traveled a long 
way through a very abundant land, although there are no cities or towns, 
until we reached a great city that they call Norgan^io, which is in the Em- 
pire of Uxbeco. And a great river they call Organ^io runs through this city 
and originates in that mountain that juts firom the Caspios Mountains. And 
the king of this Norgan^io has as his insignia a white flag with these vermil- 
ion signs, Uxbeco Emperor of Sara, hke this. pCCIV] 

We departed Norgan^io and traveled thirty days without a town or city, 
but there is an abundance of milk and meats and monkeys. And we reached 
the Sea of Sara and a city they call Raansinlia, which is near the Gulf of 
Monimenti. And I stayed there for a time. And later I entered the Sea of 
Sara in a boat of Christian Komans and we crossed the whole sea and took 
port in a city they call Godaspi, which belongs to the empire of Benascayt, 
Emperor of Persia. And beyond it a great river they call the Tigris, which 
originates in the Toro Mountains, enters the sea. And I went up that river 
on the shore until I arrived at the Toro Mountains, which are in the center 
of the face of the Earth and belong to the Empire of Persia. From these 
mountains originate four very large rivers. They call one the River Tigris, 
which enters the Sea of Sara between two cities they call Godaspi and 



88 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

en el imperio de Persia. Al otro dizen Cur,^"^ que va por medio de Persia, 
rribera del qual rrio son muchas ^ibdades. La primera, que dizen Qensor, es 
f erca de los Montes del Toro que llaman el rreyno de Eglesia, el qual es 
poblado de cristianos armenios. Et otra fibdad que dizen Malascort, et otra 
Masol, otra Orbe, Esustar, et Maxate, et Mahumen, et Brasara, et Aquisio, 
que es rribera del Mar Negro.^*^^ E en esta Aquisio fenes^e el imperio de 
Persia. Al ter^ero rrio dizen Eufrates, rribera del qual son estas ^ibdades: 
Argor, et Nega, et Camar, et Alargeo, et Malaxia Bira. E este rrio se faze tres 
partes. La una entra en el Mar Rubro, la otra parte va por Aravia et entra en 
el Mar Negro, e la otra parte va por Damasco et por la tierra de Jafet, et 
entra en el Mar Medio Terraneo apres de Armenia la Menor. Al quarto rio 
dizen Surmena, que va por la grand fibdad de Toris et por la Jorgania et entra 
en el Mar Mayor apres de Trapesonda.^'^^ Et esta es la figura de los Montes 
del Toro, et tiene en somo una gran cruz por que sean conos^idos.^^^ 

Despues desto parti de los Montes del Toro et fuy veer los Montes de 
Armenia la Mayor, do arribo el area de Noe quando escape del general di- 
luvio. Aquel monte es todo de piedra de sal tan blanca como el cristal.^'* 
E sabed que es una de las montanas altas del mundo et es medio de la faz de 
la tierra, e ningund omme puede alia sobir maguer fue provado por muchas 
vezes. E son en el imperio de Persia. E toda en derredor es poblada de cris- 
tianos armenios que son la guarda del emperador et fia mucho dellos, ca 
ellos lo guardan. Et por ellos es el enperador mucho honrado, et ellos son 
mas validos por el. E sabed que es tierra mucho rica et muy abondada de 
todas las riquezas que todas las tierras pueden aver. Et deven aver en sy para 
ser abondados todos los ommes et riquezas que todas las tierras han. E esta 
es la figura de las montanas de Armenia, ado es el area de Noe que yo vy, 
mas es toda desbaratada.^'^ 

E parti de la Armenia et fiiy a la grand ^ibdad de Toris, que es cabe^a 
del imperio de los persianos. E es una de las grandes ^ibdades del mundo, 



^"^ Samarkand, in Uzbekistan. The Kura River empties into the Caspian, although it does 
not cross Persia, as the narrator claims. 

^'"' Some of the cities named here are apparendy along the Tigris River: Masol was probably 
Al Mawsil (Mosul) in Iraq; Brasara could be Al Basrah. The list ends to the east in Qeshm (Iran) 
on the Persian Gulf. 

^'" A tributary of the Euphrates. 

^"' N and R contain illustrations of these mountains. 

^" Medieval accounts differ on whether Mount Ararat was reachable or not, but our 
narrator now claims to have seen the remains of Noah's ark. John Mandeville also refers to a 
mountain of rock salt close to this place. See Jimenez de la Espada (167). 

^'" In N and R the artists have drawn the mountains mentioned here, atop which is a chest. 
Apparendy the word "area" was taken quite literally by the illuminators. 



The Book of Knowledge 89 

Samiagante, which are in the empire of Persia. They call the other, that 
goes through the middle of Persia, the Cur, on the shores of which there 
are many cities. The first, that they call Qensor, is near the Toro Mountains 
that they call the Kingdom of Eglesia, which is inhabited by Armenian 
Christians. And another city they call Malascort, and another Masol, another 
Orbe, Esustar, and Maxate, and Mahumen, and Brasara, and Aquisio, which 
is on the shores of the Black Sea. And in this Aquisio the Empire of Persia 
ends. They call the third river Eufirates, on the shores of which are these 
cities: Argor and Nega and Camar, and Alargeo, and Malaxia Bira. And this 
river divides into three parts. One enters the Red Sea, the other part goes 
through Arabia and enters the Black Sea, and the other part goes through 
Damasco and through the land of Jafet and enters the Medio Terraneo Sea 
beyond Armenia Minor. They call the fourth river Surmena, which goes 
through the great city of Toris and through Jorgania and enters the Great 
Sea beyond Trapesonda. And this is the image of the Toro Mountains, and 
it has on top a great cross so they can be recognized. 

After this I departed the Toro Mountains and went to see the mountain 
of Armenia Major, where Noah's ark reached when it escaped the general 
flood. That mountain is all rock salt as white as glass. And know that it is 
one of the highest mountains in the world and is in the middle of the face 
of the Earth, and no man can ascend there, although it has been tried many 
times. And they belong to the Emperor of Persia. And all around it is 
populated by Armenian Christians that are the Emperor's guards, and he 
trusts them very much because they guard him. And the Emperor is very 
honored by them, and they are appreciated by him. And know that it is a 
rich land and abundant in all things that any land can have. And in order to 
be so abundant they must have all the men and riches that all lands have. 
And this is the image of the mountains of Armenia, where Noah's ark is, 
which I saw, but it is totally destroyed. 

And I departed Armenia and went to the great city of Toris, which is 
the capital of the empire of the Persians. And it is one of the great cities of 



90 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

et mucho abondada et rica, et es tierra muy tenplada. E por eso los omes de 
Persia son muy sabios et entendidos en todas las sfientias, e han saberes muy 
profundos en los juyzios de las estrellas. E el Emperador de Persia ha por 
sefiales un pendon de oro et en medio una quadra bermeja tal. [XCV] 

Sabed que en Persia nas^en dos fuentes, et cada una dellas faze un grand 
lago de agua de doze millas en ancho, et sale de cada un lago destos un 
grand rrio que cada uno dellos traviesa toda Persia. A la una fuente dizen 
Mar Sargis, et a la otra dizen Mare Argis.^^-^ Et ayuntan se estos dos rrios 
et entran en el Mar de India en el Mar Negro. Et a las fibdades que son rri- 
beras destas dos fuentes son Argis, et Caperti, et Salamoda, et Orinorde, et 
Buxila, et Pastello.^^'* Et travese el dicho rrio de Argis et andude muy grand 
partida de Persia, et fiiy al rreynado de Saldania, que es noble gibdad et rica. 
E el rrey deUa ha por seiiales un pendon de oro et en medio una quadra ber- 
meja tal. pCCVI] 

Parti de Saldania et fuy contra el levante con mercadores, et fuy a otra 
fibdad que dizen Premua del Rey de Persia, et desi a otra que dizen Aba. 
Et fuy muy grand camino fasta que Uegue a la ^ibdad de Syras, que los tar- 
taros dizen Sarax, a do fenes^e el imperio de Persia. ^^^ Et es fibdad muy 
rica et abondada et muy antigua. Et dizen que en esta ^ibdad fue fallada pri- 
mera mente la astronomia, que quiere dezir ley de las estrellas, por que esta 
fibdad es en la lina de la meytad de lo poblado.^'^ E las 9ibdades que yo 
andude en Persia son estas: Casar, et Seranes, et Thesi, et Spaor, et Jor- 
jaman, et Spalonero, et Saldania, et Toris.^'^ E en esta Toris fue coronado 
Benascayt emperador de Persia. E el su imperio llega desde el Mar de Sara 
fasta el Mar de India, do es la ^ibdad de Hormixio, e desde el Mar Mayor 
fasta Aquisio, que es otrosi el Mar Negro que es en longura veynte ^inco 
jomadas et en ancho desde el rrio Cur fasta la fibdad de Siras, que ay fient 
jomadas. Benascayt emperador de Persia allege muy grand hueste et fue a 
pelear con Uxbeco emperador de Sara. Aqui fueron llegados mas de un 
cuento et medio de cavallerias. E Benascayt prometio a unos monjes arme- 
nios con quien se consejava que si la batalla ven^iese, que se tomaria 
cristiano. Et los cristianos armenios que con el yvan llevaron la cruz en la 



^'^ The fint is Lake Oroumieh (in northwest Iran), and the other is Van Golii (Lake Van), 
just to the west in present-day Turkey. 

^'^ Argis (the origin of the name Mare Argis) is today the city of Van. It is difficult to 
identify the other towns that are said to surround these lakes. 

^'^ Premua del Rey might be Tehran. From there the traveler would head south for a long 
way before arriving at Shiraz. 

^'^ The Catalan Adas makes the same observation next to the site of this city. 

^'^ This random selection of cities in Iran seems to include Kazerun, Esfahan, and Tabriz, 
among others. 



The Book of Knowledge 91^ 

the world and it is very abundant and rich and the land is very temperate. 
And for this reason the men of Persia are very wise and knowledgeable 
about all the sciences, and they have very profound knowledge about the 
predictions of the stars. And the Emperor of Persia has as his insignia a gold 
flag with a vermilion square in the center, like this. pCCV] 

Note that two springs originate in Persia, and each one of then forms a 
great lake of water twelve miles wide, and out of each of these lakes a great 
river flows and each one crosses all of Persia. They call one spring Mar Sar- 
gis, and the other Mar Argis. And these two rivers converge and enter the 
Sea of India in the Black Sea. And the cities that are on the shore of these 
two springs are Argis, and Caperti, and Salamoda, and Orinorde, and Bu- 
xila, and Pastello. And I crossed the aforementioned River Argis and trav- 
eled a great part of Persia, and went to the kingdom of Saldania, which is 
a noble and rich city. And its king has as his insignia a gold flag with a 
vermilion square in the center, like this. [XCVI] 

I departed Saldania and went eastward with merchants, and I went to 
another city they call Premua of the King of Persia, and from there to 
another they call Alba. And I went a long way until I reached the city of 
Syras, that the Tartars call Sarax, where the Empire of Persia ends. And it 
is a very rich and abundant and ancient city. And they say that in the city 
astronomy, which means the law of the stars, was first discovered, because 
this city is in the line of the middle of the populated land. And the cities I 
traveled in Persia are these: Casar, and Seranes, and Thesi, and Spaor, and 
Jorjamen, and Spalonero, and Saldania, and Toris. And in this Toris Benas- 
cayt, Emperor of Persia, was crowned. And his empire extends from the 
Sea of Sara to the Sea of India, where the city of Hormixio is, and from the 
Great Sea to Aquisio, which is also the Black Sea, that is twenty-five days' 
journey in length and in width from the River Cur to the city of Siras, 
which is 100 days. Benascayt the Emperor of Persia assembled a great army 
and went to do battle with Uxbeco, Emperor of Sara. More than 1,000,000 
soldiers came here. And Benascayt promised some Armenian monks from 
whom he took advice that if he won the battle, he would become a 
Christian. And the Armenian Christians who went with him carried the 



92 El libro del coNosgiMiENTO 

delantera. Et ayudolos Dios et ven9:ieron la batalla, et Uxbeco fue ven^ido 
et sus cavallerias, et fuxo, et fueron muertos muchos dellos et captives, et 
todos sus reales robados et sus mugeres captivas. Et entrole muy grand par- 
tida de la tierra que avia rribera del Mar Mayor. Despues desto unos alhages 
moros que predicavan cada dia a Benascayt dieron le yervas, et morio.^** 
Pero los rreyes de Persia siempre fezieron mucho bien a los cristianos de 
Armenia et fiaron dellos. Despues desto parti de Persia con mercadores cris- 
tianos que venian de Catayo. Et travesamos el rrio Cur por la ysla de Ansera 
et venimos a la ^ibdad de Mesopotania, que es del imperio de Baldat. Et 
parti dende et vine contra el poniente grande camino que non falle villa nin 
fibdad, por que los pobladores dende moran todos en los canpos, fasta que 
llegue al rrio Eufrates. Et traveselo en una ^ibdad que dizen Malaxia.^^^ 
Et alii se parte un brafo deste rrio que viene por Damasco et por la tierra de 
Jafet et entra en el Mar Mediterraneo apres de Armenia la Menor. Et dende 
vyn me por el rrio ayuso fasta que llegue a una ^ibdad que dizen Tripul de 
la Suria,^^^ que es rribera del Mar Mediterraneo. Et entre en una nao de 
cristianos et vin me para Chip re, et de Chipre vine me a las yslas perdidas 
de la Romania, que son Ancandia, et dende a la Morea, et de si a Creta, et 
dende a Negro Ponte. Et dende fuy a un rreynado de griegos que dizen Salo- 
nico que parte con Macedonia, donde fue el Grand Alexandre, et con la 
montana de Pirus. E el rrey desta Salonico ha por senales un pendon bermejo 
con una cruz de oro et quatro eslabones de oro desta manera. [XCVII] 

Dende fuy a una fibdad que dizen Galipoli, que es rribera del golfo que 
entra del Mar Mediterraneo al Mar Mayor. Et por aqui pasaron los firan^eses 
quando conquirieron la Suria. E dende fuy por la marisma a una fibdad que 
dizen Re^ira^^' del imperio de Costantinopla. E parti de Re^ira et fuy a 
Costantinopla, una rica ^ibdad cabe^a del imperio do se coronan los rreyes, 
en la qual es una grande eglesia de Dios que dizen Santa Sofia. Et es muy 
alta et muy ancha et fermosa, en que ay trezientas et sesenta et seys puertas. 
Apres della es una torre de piedra que no ha sobida ninguna. En f ima desta 
torre esta un cavallero fecho de metal en su cavallo muy grande, et tiene en 



^'* Markham (54, n.l) states that Abu Said died while bathing in the River Kur, but allows 
that others believe he was poisoned by his favorite wife. Jimenez de la Espada (168-69) dates the 
events in the years 1334—35, stating that Abu Said went out to fight against invaders of his realm, 
but was taken ill because of heat and died while bathing; he also mentions that some writers 
refer to the poisoning episode, which could be legend. 

^" Malatya is a Turkish city just north of the Euphrates. 

^^" Jimenez de la Espada (169) observes that this supposed tributary of the Euphrates is non- 
existent, and that the traveler could not possibly have arrived at "Tripul de la Suria" (now 
Tarabulus in Lebanon) in this way. 

^^' Heraclea, now only ruins in southwest Turkey. 



The Book of Knowledge 93^ 

cross in the front line. And God helped them and they won the battle, and 
Uxbeco and his soldiers were defeated and he fled, and many of them were 
killed and taken captive, and all of his military camps were taken and his 
women taken captive. And [Benascayt] penetrated a long way into the land 
on the shores of the Great Sea. After this some Moorish Hajjis who 
preached every day to Benascayt gave him some herbs, and he died. But the 
kings of Persia always treated the Christians of Armenia well and trusted 
them. After this I departed Persia with Christian merchants who were com- 
ing from Catayo. And we crossed the River Cur near the island of Ansera 
and came to the city of Mesopotania, which is in the Empire of Baldat. 
And I departed from there and came westward for a long way and did not 
find a town or city, because the inhabitants from there live in the coun- 
tryside, until I arrived at the River Eufrates. And I crossed it in a city they 
call Malaxia. And there a branch of the river that comes through Damasco 
and the land of Jafet and enters the Mediterraneo beyond Armenia Minor. 
And from there I came downriver until I reached a city they call Tripul de 
la Suria, which is on the shores of the Mediterraneo Sea. And I embarked 
a boat of Christians and came to Chipre, and from Chipre I came to the 
lost islands of Romania, which are Ancandia, and from there to Morea, and 
from there to Creta, and from there to Negro Ponte. And from there I 
went to the kingdom of the Greeks they call Salonico that borders on 
Macedonia, where Alexander the Great was from, and [it also borders] on 
the mountain Pirus. And the king of this Salonico has as his insignia a ver- 
mihon flag with a gold cross and four gold links in this manner. [XCVII] 

From there I went to a city they call Galipoli, which is on the shores of 
the gulf that enters the Mediterraneo Sea and the Great Sea. And the 
French passed here when they conquered Suria. And from there I went 
along the coast to a city they call Re^ira, of the Empire of Constaninopla. 
And I departed Ref ira and went to Constaninopla, a rich city [which is] the 
capital where they crown their kings, in which there is a great church of 
God they call Santa Sophia. It is very tall and very wide and beautiful, and 
there are 366 doors. Beyond it there is a stone tower that is impossible to 
climb. On top of this tower is a knight made of metal on his very large 
horse, and he has on his head an episcopal hat in honor of the Emperor 



94 El libro del coNosgiMiENXo 

la cabe^a sombrero obispal a honrra del Enperador Costantino. Et tiene la 
mano derecha tendida demostrando la Turquia, que antigua mente de- 
zian Asia la Menor que es allende de aquel golfo de la mar.^^^ E esta es la 
figura del enperador cavallero en su cavallo et de la torre, como esta que se 

223 

sigue. 

Este Enperador de Constantinopla es muy rico et muy abondado et de 
muy grandes poderes et de muy grandes gentes et muchas. E el Emperador 
de Costantinopla ha por sefiales un pendon a quarterones, los dos quartos 
blancos con cruzes bermejas, et los otros dos quarterones son bermejos con 
sendas cruzes de oro et con quatro eslabones de oro desta manera. [XCVIII] 

Parti de Costantinopla et entre en la Mar Mayor, et tome la parte es- 
quierda por la marisma et llegue a un rreynado que dizen Lodomago.^^'* 
Et es tierra muy rrica et abondada. E el rrey dende ha por sefiales un pen- 
don bermejo con una cruz de oro et quatro eslabones de oro desta mane- 
ra.225 [XCIX] 

Parti de Lodomago et fuy me para Meseber, et dende a Buma.^^^ 
Aqui es la vera Gre^ia. Et el imperio de los griegos en Gre^ia son muchas 
provin^ias departidas, convien a saber: Archadia, Achia, Boe^ia, Macedonia, 
Cahonia, Le^edomonia, Asalonica, Para, otra Macedonia, fasta Costantinopla 
et Tierra de Sufragia et Tierra de Macali. E ^erca todas estas tierras un rrio 
que dizen flumen Pirus, que nas^e de los Montes de Qerva.^^^ E el rrey 
ha por sefiales un pendon bermejo con una cruz de oro con quatro esla- 
bones de oro tales. [C] 

De si parti del rreyno de Meseber et fuy me por la rribera del Mar 
Mayor a una grand fibdad que dizen Vefina, que confma con la Ungria. En 
esta Vef ina se ayuntan nueve rrios que todos entran en el Mar Mayor. Al 
primero dizen Turbo, al segundo Danubio, al ter^ero dizen Orin^in^ia, al 



^^^ The statue of Constantine fell during a storm in 1201. Afterwards, a statue of Theodosius 
was placed there, on a column of silver, which was later used to coin currency. During the four- 
teenth century, a statue of Justinian occupied this place (Markham 55; Jimenez de la Espada 169- 
70). 

^^■' N and R contain drawings of the column, upon which the Emperor on his horse can be 
seen. 

^* Markham (72) places this kingdom northwest of Constantinople, on the Black Sea. 

^^^ The flag is divided into four parts. In S, two of the quarters are traversed completely by 
a cross; in N and R, the crosses are smaller and centered. 

^-'' The narrator travels north along the west coast of the Black Sea, first to Mesemvria (now 
Nesebur) and then Varna (both in Bulgaria). 

^" The old provinces of Greece included Arcadia, Achaia, Boeotia, Macedonia, Laconia, 
Lacedaemonia, Thessaly, and Epirus. Para might be the island Paros. The "other" Macedonia 
could be the islands in the Aegean and the Turkish coast, land of Mount Mycale, near the island 
of Samos. The Pirus River is now the Drin (or Drina) between Albania and Herzegovina. 



The Book of Knowledge 95 

Constantine. And he has his right hand extended pointing to Turquia, 
which was in ancient times called Asia Minor, which is beyond that gulf of 
the sea. And this is the image of the knight emperor on his horse and of 
the tower, like this one that follows. 

This Emperor of Constantinopla is very rich and very endowed and has 
many great powers and very many and very great people. And the Emperor 
of Constantinopla has as his insignia a quarterly flag, two quarters white 
with vermilion crosses, and the other two quarters are vermilion, each with 
a cross of gold and four gold links, in this manner. [XCVIII] 

I departed Constantinopla and entered the Great Sea, and went on the 
left side of the coast and reached a kingdom they call Lodomago. And it is 
a rich and abundant land. And its king has as his insignia a red flag with a 
gold cross and four gold links, in this manner. [XCIX] 

I departed Lodomago and went to Meseber and from there to Buma. 
Here is true Grefia. And the empire of the Greeks in Gre^ ia has many 
scattered provinces, to wit, Archadia, Achia, Boe^ia, Macedonia, Cahonia, 
Le^edomonia, Asalonica, Para, another Macedonia, extending to Constan- 
inopla and the Land of Sufragia and the Land of MacaH. And a river they 
call Pirus, which originates in the Mountains of (^erva, surrounds all these 
lands. And the king has as his insignia a vermilion flag with a gold cross and 
four gold links, like this. [C] 

I departed from the Kingdom of Meseber and went along the shores of 
the Great Sea to a city they call Ve^ina, which borders on Ungria. In this 
Ve^ina nine rivers converge and all of them enter the Great Sea. They call 
the first Turbo, the second Danubio, the third they call Orinfin^ia, the 



96 El libro del conoscimiento 

quarto Drinago, al quinto Pinga, al sexto Raba, al seteno Rabeza, al octavo 
Ur, al noveno Ve^ine.^^*^ Estos nueve rrios fazen ante esta ^ibdad Ve^ina 
muy grandes tremadales. Esta ^ibdad Ve^ina es cabe9a del rreynado et ha 
por sefiales un pendon bianco con estas senales bermejas. [CI] 

Parti de Ve^ina por la marisma et fuy a Manro Castro et dende al 
Puerto de Lobo, que es una sierra muy alta, et gerca la toda un rrio que 
dizen Lusur que nas^e de los Montes Rexos. E apres deste puerto es una 
fibdad que dizen Pidea, et es cabe^a del rreynado. Et trae tales senales como 
Uxbeto por que es su vasallo. E dende fuy al Puerto de Nigropila, que es 
un golfo muy grande del Mar Mayor.^^"^ E dende fuy al cabo de Gotia 
que lo ^erca del un cabo el Mar Mayor, et del otro el Mar de Letana. Este 
cabo conquirieron los godos quando salieron del en^erramiento de Alexan- 
dre. Con esta Gotia confinan dos provin^ias muy grandes: son tierra del 
Rey David et la provin^ia de Avogasia, et confina con Tana. E dende entre 
en el Mar de Tana por una angostura que es entre esta Gotia et el Cabo de 
Tus, do es una ^ibdad que dizen Materga.^-^'^ E rribera deste Mar de Le- 
tana son tres rreynados muy grandes que obedes^en a Uxbeto. Son Coma- 
nia, que es de cristianos, et Tana, que es de turcos et de tartaros et el rreyno 
de Canardi. Et partelos un grand rrio que dizen Tanay, et por este rrio dizen 
a la ^ibdad Tana.'^-^^ E las senales destos rreynados son pendones blancos con 
seiiales bermejas como las de Uxbeto, por que son sus vasallos. [CII] 

De si parti del Mar de Letana et tome me al Mar Mayor, et tome la 
marisma del levante muy grand camino. Et pase por Arvasaxia et por Pe- 
sonta del imperio de Uxbeto, et Uegue al rreynado de Sant Estopoli, que es 
de cristianos comanes.^^^ Et son muchas gentes que ban nombres de ju- 
dios, pero que todos fazen obras de cristianos en los sacrifi^ios, Uegan se mas 
a los griegos que a los latinos. El rrey dende ha por seiiales un pendon ber- 
mejo con una mano blanca tal. [CIII] 



^^^ These are probably the Rivers Dniester, Danube and one of its tributaries, Drina, Pinka, 
and the Raab and several of its tributaries. 

^^' All are apparendy port cities around the Black Sea. 

^^" Gotia is the Crimea, with the Black Sea on one side and the Azov (here, Letana) on the 
other. The provinces mentioned are apparendy to the north of the Crimea, in the area south of 
the Don River. The traveler enten a strait connecting the Black Sea with the Azov, where he 
comes upon a city that could be the present-day Kerch. 

^^' These three kingdoms are between the Azov and the Don (Tanay) River. According to 
Newton (Trauels and Travellers, 142) Tana was on the caravan silk route across Central Asia. Also 
traded there were the fors of Russia and the merchandise of the Far East and India. Newton also 
informs us that contemporary travelers found this area safe day or night, and that there was a 
Franciscan mission station at Tana (145). 

^^" The narrator follows the east coast of the Black Sea to Pitsunda, then seems to find 
himself in Sevastopol, although this would take him once again to the Crimea. 



The Book of Knowledge 97^ 

fourth Drinago, the fifth Pinga, the sixth Raba, the seventh Rabeza, the 
eighth Ur, the ninth Ve^ine. These nine rivers make a great swamp before 
the city of Ve^ina. This city Ve^ina is the capital of the kingdom and has as 
its insignia a white flag with these vermiHon emblems. [CI] 

I departed Ve^ina along the coast and went to Manro Castro and from 
there to the Puerto de Lobo, which is a very high sierra, and a river they 
call Lusur, which originates in the Rexos Mountains, surrounds it all. And 
beyond this port is a city they call Pidea, and it is the capital of the king- 
dom. And it has the same insignia as Uxbeto because it is his vassal. And 
from there I went to the Port of Nigropila, which is a very large gulf of the 
Great Sea. And from there to the Cape of Gotia which is surrounded on 
one end by the Great Sea and the other end by the Sea of Letana. The 
Goths conquered this cape when they escaped from the imprisonment of 
Alexander. Gotia borders on two very large provinces: they are the land of 
King David and the province of Avogasia, and it borders on Tana. And 
from there I entered the Sea of Tana through a strait that is between this 
Gotia and the Cape of Tus, where there is a city they call Materga. And on 
the shores of this Sea of Letana there are three very large kingdoms that obey 
Uxbeto. They are Comania, which belongs to the Christians, and Tana, 
which belongs to the Turks and the Tartars, and the Kingdom of Canardi. 
And they are separated by a great river they call Tanay, and after this river 
they named the city Tana. And the insignia of these kingdoms are white 
flags with vermilion emblems, like the one for Uxbeto, because they are his 
vassals. [CII] 

I departed the Sea of Letana and turned to the Great Sea, and took the 
eastern shore for a long way. And I passed through Arvasaxia and through 
Pesonta in the empire of Uxbeto, and I reached the kingdom of Sant 
Estopoli, which belongs to Koman Christians. And there are many people 
that have Jewish names, but all do Christian works in the sacrifices, more 
like Greeks than Latins. Its king has as his insignia a vermilion flag with a 
white hand, like this. [CIII] 



98 El libro del conoscpimiento 

E parti de Sant Estopoli et fuy a la Gorgania, que es entre el Mar Mayor 
et el Mar de Sara, muy grand tierra del imperio de Uxbeto, et fuyme por 
la marisma contra el poniente, et pase por Faxa et por Conisa a la ^ibdad de 
Trapesonda, et more ay un tienpo.^-^-^ Este imperio parte con la Turquia 
pero que son cristianos griegos. E el Emperador de Trapesonda ha por senales 
un pendon bermejo con un aguila de oro con dos cabe^as desta manera.^-''* 
[CIV] 

De si parti de Trapesonda et fuy por Quinisonda, et llegue al rreynado de 
Semiso^-'^ que confina con el Mar Mayor et con la Turquia, un rreynado 
grande de muchas gentes. El rrey dende ha por senales un pendon bianco con 
un signo tal como este, et son cristianos griegos.^^^ [CV] 

Parti de Semiso et fuy me por la marisma a un rreynado que dizen 
Castelle,^^^ que es de cristianos griegos que guerrean con los turcos. Et es 
un rreynado fiierte et bien poblado. Et sus senales son un pendon bermejo 
con una cruz de oro et quatro eslavones de oro tales. [CVI] 

De si parti de Castelle et fuy a Samasco, de si a Punta Rancha, de sy a 
Carpi. Et llegue a un rreynado que dizen Palolimen^-'^ que confina con 
la proving ia de Troya et con el Mar Mayor. Et es una tierra muy vi^iosa et 
muy poblada et muy abondada de todas las cosas que son menester et es de 
cristianos griegos. E el rrey dende ha por senales otras tales commo las de 
Castelle.2-''' [CVII] 

Parti de Palolimen et vine a Diaschilo et a Veda, et dende a Ferandelfia de 
que ya conte de suso, e dende fuy a Faya,^'*° una rica ^ibdad et abondada. 
Todas estas ^ibdades son en la Turquia et antigua mente dezian la Asia Menor. 
El rrey destas ^ibdades ha por sefiales un pendon con vandas blancas et 
Cardenas, et ^erca de la vara una cruz bermeja et el canpo bianco tal. [CVIII] 



"^"' From Georgia, between the Black and the Caspian Seas, the traveler arrives in Trebizond 
(now Trabzon), an empire in north Turkey that bordered on the Black Sea. It was located on 
the trade route linking East and West and therefore frequented by the Genoese and Venetians 
during the Middle Ages. 

^■^^ The double-headed eagle is the last coat of arms in R. 

^•'^ Continuing west on the south shores of the Black Sea, the next stop is probably Semsun 
(also in Turkey). 

^■^^ A six-point star, in N it appears unadorned, while in S it is florid. 

^^^ The province of Sinop (a Utde farther west along the same coast) had as its capital a city 
named CasteH (Jimenez de la Espada 189-90). 

^^* Continuing in a westerly direction, the traveler reaches Scutari (Palominen, accordii^ to 
Markham, 58). 

^" In N, the previous arms are repeated. In S, the emblem of the Emperors of Uzbekistan 
appears. 

^^" Across the Marmara Sea from Scutari was the city of Dascylium, from where the narrator 
headed south to Philadelphia, now called Alasehir. 



The Book of Knowledge 99 

And I departed Sant Estopoli and went to Gorgania, which is between 
the Great Sea and the Sea of Sara, a great land in the empire of Uxbeto, 
and I went westward along the shore and passed by Faxa and by Conisa to 
the city of Trapesonda, and there I stayed for a time. This empire borders 
on Turquia but they are Greek Christians. And the Emperor of Trapesonda 
has as his insignia a vermilion flag with a gold eagle with two heads, in this 
manner. [CIV] 

From there I departed Trapesonda and went by Quinisonda and reached 
the Kingdom of Semiso, which borders the Great Sea and Turquia, a large 
kingdom with many people. Its king has as his insignia a white flag with an 
emblem like this one, and they are Greek Christians. [CV] 

I departed Semiso and went along the coast to a kingdom they call 
Castelle, which belongs to Greek Christians who war with the Turks. And 
it is a strong and well populated kingdom. And its insignia is a vermilion 
flag with a gold cross and four gold links, like this. [CVI] 

From there I departed Castelle and went to Samasco, from there to 
Punta Rancha, from there to Carpi. And I reached a kingdom they call 
Palolimen that borders on the province of Troya and on the Great Sea. And 
it is a very rich and very populated land and abundant in all things that are 
necessary, and it belongs to Greek Christians. And its king has as his insig- 
nia like one that is Castelle's. [CVII] 

I departed Palolimen and came to Diaschilo and to Veda, and from 
there to Ferandelfia which I already told of above, and from there to Faya, 
a rich and abundant city. All these cities are in Turquia and in ancient times 
they called it Asia Minor. The king of these cities has as his insignia a flag 
with white and cardinal red bands, and near the bar a vermilion cross and 
the field is white, like this. [CVIII] 



100 El libro del conosqimiento 

Parti del rreynado de Feradelfia et fliy a otro rreynado que dizen 
Atologo,^'*^ que tiene muy grandes tierras en la Turquia rribera del Mar 
Mayor. E el rrey dende ha por senales un pendon bermejo et en medio una 
rueda prieta desta manera. [CIX] 

De si parti de Atologo con mercadores por la tierra et travese toda la 
Turquia et fuy a la ^ibdad de Savasco, e parti dende et travese el rrio Sur 
que nas9e de los Montes del Toro. Et travese toda la Jorgania fasta que 
llegue al Mar de Sara a una ^ibdad que dizen Dement,^"*^ que tiene muy 
grandes tierras et tierra muy abondada, como quier que es tierra firia. E el 
rrey dende ha por senales asi como Uxbeto por que es su vasallo. [CX] 

Entre aqui en esta Derebent en el Mar de Sara en un panfil, et llegue a 
una fibdad que dizen Caraol,^'*^ et es un rreynado muy grande et muy 
abondada del imperio de Persia. E el rrey dende ha por senales un pendon 
amarillo con quadra bermeja tal. [CXI] 

Entre estas dos ^ibdades, es a saber Derbent et Caraol, es el puerto que 
dizen Januas Ferri.^'^'* E sobre este puerto son avidas muchas peleas por 
que Derbent es del imperio de Uxbeto et Caraol es del imperio de Persia. 
E parti de Caraol et fuy Axanbran, et dende a Bamachu, et dende a la 
Punta de Bacu,^'*^ que es toda ^ercada del Mar de Sara pero que ay una 
entrada por tierra firme. Et alii entra en el Mar de Sara un grand rrio que 
dizen Tigres, que nas^e de las altas Sierras del Toro et corre por Armenia la 
Mayor. A la entrada desta punta es una rica ^ibdad que dizen Bacu, et al 
mar dizen Sara de Bacu. Este nonbre ha por rrey de aquella tierra que 
dezian don Bacus, el qual era muy poderoso. Et fazia creer a la gentes de 
aquella tierra que el era Dios, et que lo adorassen asi como a Dios, et dezian 
le el Dios de Bacu. Et poblo aquesta ^ibdad de Bacu. Este Mar de Sara 
llamanle los tartaros por muchos nonbres, ca le dizen el Mar Caspio por los 
Montes Caspios que y llegan, et dizen le el Mar de la Jorgania por que la ha 
por vezina, et dizen le el Mar de Quillan por una provin^ia que es en su 
ribera que dizen Quillan, e dizen le el Mar de Sara por la prerogatura del 
imperio de Sarra, e dizen le el Mar Bacu por la ^ibdad de Bacu. E parti de 



^^' Jimenez de la Espada (180) and Markham (73) believe that this was Hypsili in Asia 
Minor. 

^^^ The narrator travels through the interior of Turkey this time, passing the city of Sivas and 
crossing its river, the Kizil. He then traverses Georgia and arrives in Derbent, on the Caspian. 

^^' Caraol seems to have been a city on the west coast of the Caspian. 

^** The Iron Gates, according to Markham (73). 

^*^ Here he goes south along the west coast of the Caspian to Baku. 



The Book of Knowledge 101 

I departed the kingdom of Feradelfia and went to another kingdom they 
call Atologo that has many great lands in Turquia on the shores of the Great 
Sea. And the king has as his insignia a vermilion flag and in the center a 
black wheel, in this manner. [CIX] 

From there I departed Atologo by land with merchants and crossed all 
of Turquia and went to the city of Savasco, and departed there and crossed 
the river Sur that originates in the Toro Mountains. And I crossed all of 
Jorgania until I reached the Sea of Sara at a city they call Dement, which 
has many great lands and very abundant land, although it is a cold land. And 
its king has as his insignia an emblem like Uxbeto because he is his vassal. 
[CX] 

Here in this Derebent I entered the Sea of Sara in a panfilo, and arrived 
at a city they call Caraol, and it is a very large and very abundant kingdom 
in the Empire of Persia. And its king has as his insignia a yellow flag with 
a vermilion square, like this. [CXI] 

Between these two cities, that is Derbent and Caraol, is the port they 
call Januas Ferri. And near this port there are many battles because Derbent 
belongs to the Empire of Uxbeto and Caraol is of the Empire of Persia. 
And I departed Caraol and went to Axanbran, and from there to Bamachu, 
and from there to the Punta de Bacu, which is totally surrounded by the 
Sea of Sara, but there is an entrance on firm soil. And there a great river 
they call Tigris enters the Sea of Sara, [a river] that originates in the high 
Sierras of Toro and runs through Armenia Minor. At the entrance to this 
point is a rich city they call Bacu, and they call the sea Sara de Bacu. It has 
this name for a king of that land that they called Don Bacus, who was very 
powerful. And he made the people of that land believe that he was God, 
and that they should worship him like God, and they called him the God 
of Bacu. And he founded that city of Bacu. The Tartars call this Sea of Sara 
by many names, for they call it the Caspio Sea for the Caspios Mountains 
that are found there, and they call it the Sea of Jorgania because it is near 
[that place], and they call it the Sea of Quillan for a province that is on its 
shore that they call Quillan, and they call it the Sea of Sara for the Empire 
of Sarra, and they call it the Bacu Sea for the city of Bacu. And I departed 



102 El libro del conoscimiento 

la fibdad de Bacu et fuy a Godaspi, et dende a Reversa, et a Var, et a 
Maumet, et a Sangui, et a Musaur, et a Espanor,^'*^' et a Quillan, que son 
todas estas ^ibdades ribera del Mar de Sara contra la parte del medio dia, et 
son del imperio de Persia. E dende fuy me por la rribera a la otra parte que 
es contra la trasmontana al Golfo de Monimenti, et dende a Trescargo et a 
Contulicanchi, et dende a la gran ^ibdad de Sara'^'^^ do fue coronado Ux- 
beto, emperador de los tartaros. Esta fibdad esta asentada entre el Golfo de 
Monimenti et el rrio de Tanay, rribera del qual son muchas ricas ^ibdades 
et abondadas, como quier que es tierra muy fria. Et las senales del Empera- 
dor de Sara son un pendon bianco con una sefial bermeja tal.^'*^ [CXII] 

Parti de la ^ibdad de Sara et fuy me el rrio de Tirus adelante, fasta do se 
ayuntan con el rrio de Tanay. Et las ^ibdades que yo andude rribera de 
Tanay son Baltachinca, et Escluerza, et Tifer, et Coranchi,^'*^ et son cabe- 
9as de rreynados que cada una tiene muy grandes terminos, et son del im- 
perio de Sara. Et son tierras muy ricas et abondadas et mayor mente de 
muchos ganados, que son camellos, vacas, ovejas, et bufanos. Et andude 
tanto fasta el levante, fasta que llegue a do se ayunta el rrio Tir (otros dizen 
Caspio), et nas^e de los Montes Caspios. E este rrio Tir sale del grand Lago 
Tanays^^^ et ayuntanse ambos a dos, et fazese muy grand rrio que va con- 
tra la trasmontana. Et non pude saber do fenes^en por que van contra las 
tierras del Albizibi que son yermas et desabitadas, pero que en algunos lu- 
gares dellas ay gentes viles que comen came cruda et los pescados crudos et 
beven agua de la mar et han rostros luengos commo canes, et dizen les sig- 
nosalos. E tome me contra el poniente el rrio de Tir arriba por que lo non 
pude pasar, que lieva dos jomadas en ancho, et llegue a una proving ia que 
dizen Sebur. Et es en ella una grand fibdad que dizen Castrama, et es ca- 
be^a del rreyno de Sabur.^^' E este rreyno es todo ^ercado de los dos rrios 
que dizen el flumen Tyr et el flumen Tanay. E el rrey dende ha por seiiales 
un pendon bianco et senales bermejas como el Emperador de Sara. [CXIII] 

Desi parti del rreyno de Sebur et llegue a una f ibdad que dizen Rastaor 
et a otra que dizen Pidea. Et por aqui pase el rrio Tanay et entre en una 
grand provin^ia que dizen Roxia, que es en ella una grand ^ibdad que dizen 



^^^ All of these cities were apparently located along the west coast of the Caspian Sea. 

^*^ The narrator is now on the other side of the Caspian, heading north. Here the Tanay 
seems to refer to the Volga River, and the Monimenti Gulf is probably the Mertvoy. 

^** Again, the emblem of the Emperors of Uzbekistan appears. 

^*' Cities along the Volga River, near the Caspian. 

^''" This imaginary lake was the supposed origin of the Volga, Don, and Dvina Rivers. It 
figured on the Catalan Adas as well as on the map prepared by the Pizigani brothers. 

^^' The capital of this kingdom was Kostroma, in Russia. 



The Book of Knowledge 103 

the city of Bacu and went to Godaspi, and from there to Reversa, and to 
Var, and to Maumet, and to Sangui, and to Musuar, and to Espanor, and to 
Quillan, all of which are cities are on the shores of the Sea of Sara near the 
south, and they belong to the Empire of Persia. And from there I went 
along the shore to the other side that is on the north to the Gulf of 
Monimenti, and from there to Trescargo and to Contulicanchi, and from 
there to the great city of Sara where Uxbeto, Emperor of the Tartars, was 
crowned. This city is seated between the Gulf of Monimenti and the River 
Tanay, on the shores of which there are many rich and abundant cities, 
although the land is very cold. And the insignia of the Emperor of Sara is 
a white flag with a vermilion emblem, like this. [CXI I] 

I departed the city of Sara and went along the River Tirus to where it 
converges with the River Tanay. And the cities [to which] I traveled on the 
shores of the Tanay are Baltachinca, and Escluerza, and Tifer, and Coranchi, 
and they are capitals of kingdoms and each one is very large, and they 
belong to the Empire of Sara. And the lands are very rich and abundant and 
generally have many cattle, which are camels, cows, sheep, and bufralo. And 
I traveled a long way going eastward until I reached the place where the 
River Tir (others call it Caspio) converges, and it originates in the Caspios 
Mountains. And this River Tir comes out of Lake Tanays and both con- 
verge, and there a great river is formed which flows north. And I could not 
find out where they end because they go near the lands of Albizibi that are 
barren and uninhabited, but in some places there are vile people that eat 
raw meat and raw fish and drink sea water and have long faces like dogs, 
and they call them the cynocephali. And I turned west, going up the River 
Tir because I could not cross it, because it is a two-day journey wide, and 
I reached a province they call Sebur. And in it there is a great city they call 
Castrama, and it is the capital of the Kingdom of Sabur. And this kingdom 
is totally surrounded by two rivers they call the River Tyr and the River 
Tanay. And its king has as his insignia a white flag with vermilion emblems 
like the Emperor of Sara. [CXIII] 

From there I departed the Kingdom of Sebur and reached a city they 
call Rastaor and another they call Pidea. And near here I crossed the River 
Tanay and entered a great province they call Roxia, and in it is a great city 



104 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

Xorman,^^^ et es cabe^a del rreynado et confina con el grand lago de 
Tanay. Et sus senales son un pendon roxo et un castillo en medio, atal 
commo este que se sigue. [CXIV] 

El grand lago de Tanay es en luengo tres jomadas et en ancho dos, et 
nas^en dende tres rrios muy grandes. Al uno dizen Tanay, que entra en el 
Mar Mayor apres de la ^ibdad de Tana.^^^ Al otro rrio dizen Tir et va se 
contra las tierras del Albirzibi por tierras deshabitadas. Al otro dizen Nu^^"* 
et va contra el poniente et mete se en el Mar de Alemafia apres de una 
^ibdad que dizen Virona, de que ya conte de suso. Con este rrio Nu con- 
fina una grand provin^ia que dizen Sicfia, et es tierra muy fHa. E en esta 
Sicfia es una grand ^ibdad que es cabega del rreynado que dizen Noga- 
rado.^^^ E son las gentes muy ricas et muy abondadas de todas cosas. E el 
rey dende ha por seiiales un pendon roxo con un castillo bianco tal. [CXV] 

Parti de Sic^ia et entre luego en otro rreynado que dizen Xorman. Et es 
en el una grand ^ibdad que dizen Xorman, que es cabe^a del rreynado.^^'' 
E el rrey dende ha por seiiales un pendon verde con una estrella de oro, atal 
commo esta. [CXVI] 

E parti de Xorman et entre luego en otro rreynado que dizen Maxar en 
que son tres fibdades grandes. A la una dizen Casama, et a la otra Lasat, et 
a la otra Monsaior.^^^ Este rreynado confina con el rreynado de Nogarado 
et con el rreyno de Silvana,^^" de que ya conte de suso. E el rrey deste 
Maxar ha por senales un pendon cardeno con estrellas blancas de plata tal. 
[CXVII] 

Sali del rreynado de Maxar et entre luego en el rreyno de Silvana, que 
dizen Septen Castra et los griegos dizen le Horgimil, que es todo ^ercado 
de dos rrios muy grandes, et dizen al uno flumen Turbo et al otro flumen 
Lusim. En este rreynado es una gran ^ibdad que dizen Sarax.^'''^ E el rrey 
dende ha por senales un pendon con un alfanje bermejo. Et son cristianos 
sfismaticos et ya conte dellos de suso. [CXVIII] 



^^' Not far from Moscow can be found the cities of Rostov and Kholm (here, Xorman). 

^^^ Although this lake was imaginary, many geographers of the Middle Ages believed in its 
existence. Tana is the present-day city of Azov. 

"'''' The River Dvina. 

^^^ Scythia was a large region lying north and east of the Black and Caspian Seas. The 
narrator identifies its capital as Novgorod. 

^^'' Kholm. 

^^^ Markham (75) claims that this kingdom was named Moxia, and that it reached between 
Orenburg and Moscow. The cities mentioned here are probably Kazan, Lyskovo, and Moscow. 

^^^ Eastern Novgorod and Transylvania (Ukraine), according to Jimenez de la Espada (250). 

^^'^ The narrator is now between the Dniester and the Dnieper Rivers in Ukraine. Perhaps 
the city of Saras is Odessa. 



The Book of Knowledge 105 

they call Xorman, and it is the capital of the kingdom and borders on the 
great lake of Tanay . And its insignia is a red flag with a castle in the center, 
like the one that follows. [CXIV] 

The great lake of Tanay is three-days' journey long and two wide, and 
three very large rivers originate in it. They call one Tanay, which enters the 
Great Sea beyond the city of Tana. They call the other river Tir, and it 
goes near the lands of Albizibi through uninhabited lands. They call the 
other Nu, and it goes eastward and flows into the Sea of Alemaiia beyond 
a city they call Virona, which I have already told of above. This River Nu 
borders on a great province they call Sic^ia, and it is a very cold land. And 
in this Sicfia there is a great city that is the capital of the kingdom, which 
they call Nogarado. And the people are very rich and well-supplied with all 
things. And its king has as his insignia a red flag with a white castle, like 
this. [CXV] 

I departed Sic^ia and then entered another kingdom they call Xorman. 
And in it is a great city they call Xorman, which is the capital of the king- 
dom. And its king has as his insignia a green flag with a gold star, like this 
one. [CXVI] 

And I departed Xorman and then entered another kingdom they call 
Maxar, in which there are three great cities. They call one Casama, and the 
other Lasat, and the other Monsaior. This kingdom borders the kingdom of 
Nogarado and the Kingdom of Silvana, which I already told of above. And 
the king of this Maxar has as his insignia a cardinal red flag with white stars 
of silver, hke this. [CXVII] 

I left the kingdom of Maxar and then entered the kingdom of Silvana, 
which they call Septen Castra and the Greeks call Horgimil, which is totally 
surrounded by two very large rivers; and they call one the River Turbo and 
the other River Lusim. In this kingdom is a great city they call Sarax. And 
its king has as his insignia a flag with a vermilion scimitar. And they ar 
schismatic Christians and I have already told of them above. [CXVIII] 



106 El libro del coNOsgiMiENXO 

Allende del mo Tir contra la trasmontana son dos provin^ias muy 
grandes. Et dizen a la una Yrcania et a la otra dizen Gotia, donde salieron 
los godos que conquirieron a toda Espana et fueron senores della muy grand 
tienpo. Et es Uamada Tierra de Nogulaus.^^^ Et son gentes fuertes et lidia- 
dores, pero que es tierra muy fria. Et el rrey desta Siria otrosi el de Arcania 
han por senales.^'^' [CXIX] 

Esta Gotia et esta Yrcania parten con las altas sierras de la trasmontana. 
En estas sierras veen la estrella del norte en el medio ^ielo, et faze todo el 
ano un dia seys meses dura el dia, et seys meses dura la noche. Et es tierra 
desabitada pero que dizen que son fallados en esta tierra ommes que han las 
cabef as pegadas sobre los ombros, que non han cuellos ningunos, et la barva 
tienen sobre los pechos, et las orejas dellas Uegados a los ombros. Et esta es 
su figura, commo estos dos ommes que estan en este monte desnudos.^^^ 

Otrosi son fallados en esta tierra muy grandes osos et puercos javalis 
blancos, segund que ya conte de suso. Estas dos provin^ias de Yrcania et de 
Gotia poblaron los godos que salieron de la Tartaria ^errada de los castillos 
de Got et Magot quando se delibraron del en^erramiento de Alexandre, e 
conquirieron la mayor parte del mundo. Con esta Gotia confina otra grand 
provinfia que dizen Paschar,^^'-^ que confina con Suevia, la que de suso 
reconte. En esta Suevia es una grand fibdad que dizen Roderin. Otrosi en 
esta Suevia son dos lagos muy grandes, que cada uno dellos es de ancho una 
Jornada. Al uno dizen Lacus Stocol, et al otro dizen Lacus Estarse. Et dende 
nasf en dos rrios muy grandes que ^ ircunrrodean una gran tierra que es entre 
los montes de la trasmontana et el Mar de Alemana. Et es tierra muy fiia sin 
mesura. E despues estos dos rrios metense en el Mar de Alemaiia, en un 
golfo de mar que dizen Golfiis Stocol. Este golfo el mas tienpo es todo 
elado et quajado de los grande fiios que y faze. En esta mar es la ysla God- 
landia que de suso reconte. E parti de Suevia et tome me a la rribera del 
mar a una ^ibdad que dizen Sordepinche, e de si a otra que dizen Caiman, 
e de si a otra que dizen Estocol, et a otra que dizen Sormenfes, e otra que 
dizen Ystat, et a otra que dizen Londis que confina con la Noruega.^'''* En 
esta fibdad Londis entre en una quinta de alemanes et venimos por el Mar 



2'^' Ukraine and a land called Gotia, for the Goths who inhabited it. 

^^' This emblem looks like a cross with two legs. According to Pasch (29) it might represent 
a cross planted upon a hiU, an emblem not unlike some found on old Russian banners. 

^^ In N there is an iUustration of two nude men in a wood, pointing at one another; neither 
has a neck. 

^" On the banks of the Volga. 

^^* Sordekoping, Kalmar, Stockholm, Ystad, and Lund, all in Sweden. It is unclear what 
Sormences might be. 



The Book of Knowledge 107 

Beyond the River Tir near the north are two very large provinces. And 
they call one Yrcania and the other Gotia, where the Goths that conquered 
all of Espana came from, and they were lords of it for a long time. And it 
is called the Land of Nogulaus. And the people are strong and warlike, but 
the land is very cold. And the king of Siria and also the one from Arcania 
have this insignia. 

This Gotia and this Yrcania border on the high sierras of the north. In 
these sierras they see the North Star in the center of the sky, and in the 
whole year a day lasts six months, and a night lasts six months. And it is an 
uninhabited land but they say that in this land men are found that have 
their heads attached to their shoulders, who have no necks, and their beard 
is on their chests, and their ears go down to their shoulders. And this is 
their image, like these two men that are naked on this mountain. 

In this land also are found many great bears and white boars, according 
to what I have already told above. These two provinces of Yrcania and of 
Gotia were populated by the Goths who came out of encircled Tartaria 
from the castles of Got and Magot when they freed themselves from the 
imprisonment of Alexander, and they conquered the better part of the 
world. Gotia borders on another great province they call Paschar, which 
borders on Suevia, of which I told above. In this Suevia is a great city they 
call Roderin. In this Suevia there are also two very large lakes, for each of 
them is a day's journey wide. They call one Lacus Stocol, and they other 
they call Lacus Estarse. And from there originate two very large rivers that 
surround a great land that is between the mountains of the north and the 
Sea of Alemaiia. And it is a very cold land, without measure. And later 
these two rivers flow into the Sea of Alemana in a gulf of the sea they call 
the Stocol Gulf This gulf is most of the time frozen and immobilized from 
the great cold that is there. In this sea is the island Godlandia I told of 
above. And I departed Suevia and turned to the shores of the sea to a city 
they call Surdepinche, and from there to another they call Caiman, and 
from there to another they call Estocol, and to another they call Sormen^es, 
and another they call Ystat, and to another they call Londis which borders 
on Noruega. In this city Londis I entered the boat of some Germans and 



108 El LIBRO del CONOSgiMIENTO 

de Alemana contra el poniente. Et fallatnos en esta mar ginco yslas de que 
ya conte de suso. A la una dellas dizen Godlandia, a la otra Cola, a la otra 
Lister, a la otra Bondelet, a la otra Salandia.^^^ E aqui antra un grand gol- 
fo del Mar de Alemana que fircunrrodea toda la punta del rreyno de Da^ia 
de Danes, de que ya conte de suso. E a la entrada deste golfo son dos yslas, 
que dizen a la una Insula Janglant et a la otra Finonia.^'*'' E dende vin me 
para Flandes, e dende vin me para Sevilla donde sali primera mente. 



^*' Gotland, Oland, the Swedish peninsula Listerlandet, then Bomholm and Aland. 
^^ These are the Danish islands of Lolland and Fyn. 



The Book of Knowledge 109 

we came westward on the Sea of Alemana. And we found in this sea five 
islands that I already told of above. They call one Godlandia, the other 
Cola, the other Lister, the other Bondelet, the other Salandia. And a great 
gulf of the Sea of Alemana enters here and surrounds the whole tip of the 
kingdom of Da^ia de Danes, of which I have already told above. And at the 
entrance of this gulf there are two islands; they call one Insula Janglant and 
the other Finonia. And firom there I came to Flandes, and firom there I 
came to Sevilla, from where I first left. 



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Index to the Introduction 



Abdeselib, xxx 

Aden, Gulf of, xxiii 

Adriatic Sea, xxii 

Africa, xviii, xx— xxi, xxiii, xxvi, xl— 
xli, 1 

Albania, xxii 

Albertus Magnus, liv 

Alboacen (Abu-1-Hasan), King of Mo- 
rocco, xxxii, xxxiii 

Alexander the Great, xxiii n.22, xxx- 
viii 

Alfonso VIII of Castile, xlii 

Alfonso XI of Castile, xxxii 

Algeria, xxiii 

Andanfos e viajes {journeys and Travels], 
xix n.l2 

Arabia, xxiii 

Arabian Sea, xxiii 

Ararat, Mount, xxvi 

Aristotle, liii 

Asia, xxx, xli, xlix, 1 

Atlantic Ocean, xx— xxi, xxix 

Adas Mountains, xxiii 

Austria, xxii 

Authorship, xxxviii— xUv 

Franciscan authorship, xii, xv, 

XXV, xxvi, xxxviii— xh 
herald as author, xli— xUv 

Avignon, xxxviii, xl 

Azores, xxiii, xxix 



Bacon, Roger, liv 

Bagrow, Leo, xxiv 

Baltic Sea, xxii, xxiv 

Bara, Hierosme de, xlvii 

Battuta, Ibn, 1 

Beazley, Raymond, xxiv 

Bede, Venerable, liv 

Belgium, xxii, xxiv, xlii, xhii 

Bengal, Bay of, xxiii 

Bergeron, Pierre, xix 

Bethencourt, Jean, xvii, xlviii 

Black Sea, xxiv 

Bohemia, xxii 

Bonnet, Buenaventura, xviii, xix, xxv, 

xxxii, xxxix 
Bosnia, xxvi 

Boujdour, Cape, xvii— xix, xxiii 
Brabant, Duchess of, xlii 
Burma, xxiii 

Caesar, Julius, xxxviii 

Canarien, Le, xvii-xix, xxxviii, xl-xli 

Canary Islands, xvii, xxi, xxvi-xxvii, 

xxix 
Caspian Sea, xxiv 
Cathay, xxiii, xxx 
Ceylon, xxiii 

Charles IV of France, xxviii 
China, xlix 
Clement VII, xxxvii 
Columbus, Christopher, xxi 



118 



INDEX TO THE INTRODUCTION 



Constantinople, xxiv, xl 

Conti Rossini, Carlo, xxvi, xxx— xxxi 

Corsica, xxiii, xlviii 

Cresques, Abraham, xxviii, xxx, xxxiv 

Crete, xxiii, xxvi 

Crimea, xxiv 

Cyprus, xxiv 

Denmark, xxii, xxiv 
Derbent, xxiv 
Deyermond, Alan, xxxiv 
Diez de Games, Ivi 
Dongola, xxvi, xxx 
Dormer, Diego Jose, xiv 

Earthly Paradise, xxxi 
Edward III of England, xxxv 
Edw^ard, Prince of Wales (Black 

Prince), xlii 
Egypt, xxiii 
El Victorial, Ivi 
Etnbajada a Tamorldn [Embassy to Tatn- 

erlaine], Ivi 
England, xxii, xxvi, xliii 
Enrique de Trastamara, xHi 
Ethiopia, xx, xxiii, xxx, xxxi 
Euphrates River, xxiv 



Gonzalez de Clavijo, Ruy, Ivi 
Gonzalez Vera, Francisco, xii 
Gotland, xxii 
Gropis, Island of, xl 

Harley, J. B., xxviii, xlv n.66 
Henry IV of England, xxxv 
Henry the Navigator, xviii— xix 
heraldry, xUv— xlviii 

Garci Alonso de Torres, herald, xliii 

heraldic language, xUii, xliv 

in LdC manuscripts, xii, xiii, xiv, 
xl, xlv— xlviii 

imaginary, xlvii— xlviii 

on maps, xxix, xliv 

origins in Europe, xh— xlii, xUv; in 
Spain, xlii— xhii 

rolls of arms, xliii 
Hyde, J. K., xxiv, xxvi, xxx, xxxi, 

xxxii— xxxiii 

Iceland, xxii 
India, xx, xxiii, xlix 
Iran, xxiv, xlix 
Ireland, xxii, xxvi 
Isidore, Saint, liii 
Italy, xxii 



Faroe Islands, xxii 

Fernandez Armesto, Felipe, xvii n.8, 

xxi, xxxiv 
Fernando IV of Castile, xxxviii 
Ferrer, Jacme, xxvii, xxix 
France, xxii 

Genoa, xlviii 

Georgia, xxiv 

Germany, xxii 

Gibraltar, xx, xxii 

Gog and Magog, xxiii, xxvi, xxix 



Java, xxiii 

Jimenez de la Espada, Marcos, ix, xi 

n.l, xii, XV, xix— XX, xxv, xxxviii 
Juan II of Castile, xiii, xlii 

Khan, Great, xlix 

Kimble, George, xviii, xxi, xxiv— xxv, 
xxviii 

Labarge, Margaret Wade, 1 n.76 
Ladero Quesada, Miguel Angel, 1 n.76 
Lebanon, xxiv 



INDEX TO THE INTRODUCTION 



119 



Libro del conodmiento de todos los reinos 

as travel literature, xlix— Ivi 

author, xxxviii— xliv 

date of composition, xxxii— xxxviii 

description of cities, Hi— liii 

description of people encountered, 
liii 

fantastic element in, liii— liv 

itinerary, xxii— xxiv 

manuscripts, xi— xvi 

narrative form, li— Iv 

narrator, liv— Iv 

real or imaginary, xvi— xxvii 

reference to time in, lii 

relationship to maps, xxiv-xxv, 
xxix— XXX 

scientific information in, Uv 

sources, xxvii— xxxi 

use of vocabulary, Iv 
Lopez de Mendoza, liiigo. Marques 

de Santillana, xii 
Lopez Estrada, Francisco, xxv 

Madeira Island, xxiii 
Majorca, xxiii, xxviii 
Malsa, xxiii, xxvi 
Mandeville, John, xxv 
manuscripts 

BN MS. 1997 (S), xi-xiii, xlvi- 

xlvii 
BN MS. 9055 (N), xiii, xlvi-xlvii 
Munich (Z), xiv— xvi, xlvi— xlvii 
Salamanca MS. 1890 (R), xiii— xiv, 
xlvi— xlvii 
maps 

Angehno Dalorto Map, xxviii, 

xxx— xxxi, xxxiv 
Este World Map, xxi 
Catalan Atlas of 1375, xxi, xxviii— 
xxxi, xxxiii, xxxiv 



Laurentian Adas (Medici Atlas), 
xxxiv 

mappaemundi, xxviii, xliii, liv 

portolans, xxviii, xliii 
Markham, Clements, ix, xxv, xxx, 

xlvi 
Mecca, xxiii 

Mediterranean Sea, xxiii, xxvi 
Mogadishu, xx, xxiii 
Mongolian Empire, xlix 
Moors, xxiii 

Morel-Fatio, Alfred, ix, xix, xxxix 
Morocco, xxiii 

Nabuchodonosor, xxxviii 

Naples, xlviii 

Netherlands, xxii 

Newton, Arthur P., 1 n.76 

Niger River, 1 

Nile River, xxiii 

Nino, Pero, Count of Buelna, Ivi 

Noah's Ark, xxvi 

Norgancio, xxiv 

Norway, xxii 

Ohler, Norbert, 1 n.76 
Organa, Kingdom of, xxiii, xxvi 
Orkney Islands, xxii 

Pasch, Georges, xiv, xxiv, xxxii, xlvi 

Pastoreau, Michel, xlvii n.72 

Pedro I of Castile, xUi 

Pedro el Ceremonioso, xxviii, xxxv 

Peloponnesus, xxiii 

Perez Embid, Florentino, xx-xxi 

Perez Priego, Miguel Angel, xxxix, li 

Persia, see Iran 

Persian Gulf, xxiii 

Peschel, Otto, xix 

Pian de Carpine, John of, xlix 



120 



INDEX TO THE INTRODUCTION 



Pliny, liii 
Poland, xxii 

Polo, Marco, xxv, xxx, xlix, Iv 
Prester John, xvii— xviii, xxiii, xxvi, 
xxix, xxx, xlviii, li 

Red Sea, xxiii 

Rhodes, xxiii, xxvi 

Richard, Jean, xviii 

Riquer, Martin de, xxv, xxxiii, xxxv— 

vii, xUv, xlvii n.73, xlviii 
River of Gold, xvii— xviii, xxiii, xxvii, 

xxix 
Rogers, Francis, xx, nn.l7, 18 
Romania, xxii 
Rubruck, William, xlix, Iv 
Russell, Peter, xii n.2, xv, xviii, xxvii 

n.33, xxxiii— xxxiv, xxxvii, xxxviii, 

xl, xU n.54, xhii, xlviii 
Russia, xxiv 

Sahara Desert, xxiii 
Salado, Battle of, xxxii 
Sardinia, xxiii 
Scotland, xxii 
Selvage Islands, xxiii 
Senegal, xxiii 



Serrano y Sanz, Manuel, ix, xix, xxv 

Shedand Islands, xxii 

Sierra Leone, xxiii 

SoHnus, Uii 

South China Sea, xxiii 

Spain, xxii, xxiv, xxvi 

Sweden, xxii, xxiv 

Syria, xxiii 

Tafur, Pedro, Ivi 

Tanais, Lake, xxiv 

Tlemsen, xxiii, xxx 

travel books, 1— liv 

Tunisia, xxiii 

Turkey (Asia Minor), xxiii, xxiv 

Ukraine, xxii 

Ural Mountains, xxiv 

Vivaldi expedition, xx— xxi, xxix 
Volga River, xxiv, xUx 

Wagner, Richard, xli, xlv n.66 
Woodcock, Thomas, xlv n.66 
Woodward, David, xxviii, xlv n.66 

Zurita, Jeronimo, xiv-xv 



Names and Places in the Text /Translation 



Abdeselib (emperor), 61, 63 

Abenbrut (Abenra), 11 

Abraham, 81 

Abraren, Mount, 39 

Abu-1-Hasan (Alboagen) (king), 23, 43 

Abu Said Jan Bahadur (Sultan of Per- 
sia), 86 n.206. See also Benascayt 

Abu Yakub (Yusuf Almansor), 45, cf. 
44 n.l21 

Abyssinia, 66 n.l63 

Acalanes, 47. See also Atlas Mountains 

A^ervya, 31 

A^evean, 61 

Achia (Achaia), 95 

Acre, 37. See also Akko 

Adaha, 32 n.82. See also Satalia 

Adam, 81 

Aden, Insula, 67 

Admet, 47. See also Aghmat 

Adriatic Sea, 26 n.62, 28 n.70 

Adromar, 67. See also Uadi Rima 

Adrosda, 21. See also Drogheda 

Afortunado, Lago (Fortunate Lake), 
20. See also Erne 

Africa (city), 41 

Africa, 39-67 

Aghmat, 46 n.l26. See also Admet 

Agrigento, 26 n.67 

Agro de Senabar, 69 

Aidhab, 66 n.l64 

Akko, 36 n.98 



Aksum, 60 n.l53. See also Gra^iona 

Al Basrah, 88 n.208 

Al MawsU (Mosul), 68 n.l70, 88 

n.208. See also Mon Falcon, Masol 
Al-Hirac (Iraq), 38 n. 101 
Al-Mutamed-ala-Illah (King of Se- 
ville), 46 n.l26. See also Benabit 
Alanya, 34 n.86 
Alargeo, 89 

Alasehir, 98 n.240. See also Feradelfia 
Alba, 91 

Alba^io, 66, cf 66 n.l63 
Albemia, Alpes de, 27. See also Apen- 

nine Mountains 
Albertara, 55 
Albia (river), 

Elbe, 13, cf 12 n.29 

Ohre, ll,cf lOn.22 
Albizibi, 83, 103, 105. See also Siberia 
Alboafen. 5ee Abu-1-Hasan 
Alboch, 59, cf 58 n.l46 
Alcaara, Alcahara, Alcaira, 41, 69. See 

also Cairo 
Alcarahuan (Qairouan), 43 
Alcom, 43 
AlcubU, 67 
Alcudia, 45 
Alechon (lake), 13 
Alegranfa, 49 
Alemana 

(Germany), 9, 13, 15, 29, 31 



122 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



Sea of (Baltic), 9, 11, 13, 17, 105, 
107, 109 
Alenda, 19 
Alexander the Great, 3, 80 n.l95, 81, 

93, 97, 107 
Alfonso VII of Castile, 37 
Alfonso XI of Castile, 23 
Algeria, 42 n. 117 
Algezir (Algeria), 45 
Algezira, Aljezira (Algeciras), 3, 23, 45 
Alixandreta (Alexandretta), 37 
Alixandria (Alexandria), 41 
Almaf an, 5 
Almaria (Almeria), 23 
Almedina (Medina), 71 
Almena, 55 
Almodasi, 77 
Alpes Alemana, 9 
Alsafie (Alsace), 7, 9 
Amenuan, 61, 63 
Amhara, 64 n.l59 
Amo, 65. See also Amhara 
Ancandia (Crete), 93 
Ancona, Sea of. See Adriatic 
Andaluzia, 13 
Andine, 15 
Androvar, 73 
Annaba, 42 n.ll5 
Anpurias (Ampurias), 7, 25 
Ansera, 69, 71, 93 
Antarctic Pole, 57, 61, 73, 75 
Antioch(a) (Antrofeta), 33, 34 n.86, 

37 
Antona, 19. See also Southampton 
Apennine Mountains, 26 n.62 
Apulia, 26 n.65 
Aquisio (Aquysio), 71, 88, 90. See also 

Qeshm 
Aquylea (Aquileia), 29 
Arabia, 67, 71, 81, 89 



Aragavia (Palma), 51 

Aragon, 5, 23, 29, 43 

Araot, 65. See also Roha 

Ararat, Mount, 89 

Arbenga, 25 

Arbolea, Mons, 43 

Archadia (Arcadia), 95 

Ardonxep, 11. See also Haderslev 

Argis, 91, cf 90 n.214 

Argis, Mar, 91. See also Van Golii 

Argor, 89 

Argot, 79 

Arhus, 12 n.25. 

Arish, El, 38 n.l03. See also La Risa 

Arle (Aries), 9, 25 

Armalet (Armelet), 73, 75, 77, 81 

Armeiiaque (Armagnac), 7 

Armenia Major, 69, 79, 89 

Armenia Minor, 33, 35, 37, 89, 93, 

101, cf 32 n.84. See also Cihcia 
Armonea, 73 
Arno (river), 27 
Arrisnar, 1 1 . See also Bratislava 
Artamua, 19. See also Dartmouth 
Artania, 21. See also Orkney Islands 
Artillo, 73 

Artur (Arthur) (king), 17 
Artuz, 11. See also Arhus 
Arvasaxia (Abkhazia), 97 
Arzila, 47 
Asalonica (Thessalonica), 95. See also 

Thessaly 
Asfida, 61 
Ashqelon, 36 n.98 
Asia Minor, 33, 35, 95, 99 
Astania, 77 
Astora, 43 
Astorga, 5 
Astrakhan, 86 n.205 
Asturias, 5 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



123 



Atlantic Ocean, 4 nn.4— 5. See also 

Ocean Sea, Western Sea/Ocean 
Atlas Mountains, 40 n.UO, 50 n.l31. 

See also Acalanes, Montes Claros, 

White Mountains 
Atologo, 101. See also HypsUi 
Augustine, Saint, 43 
Australia, 74 n.l83. See also Trapovana 
Avandalia, 13 
Avegazia (Abkhazia), 79 
Avila, 3 

Avinon (Avignon), 9, 25 
Avogasia (Abkhazia), 97 
Axanbran, 101 
Azamor, 47 
Azov, Sea of, 78 n.l92, 96 n.230. See 

also Letana 

Babel, Tower of, 69 

Babilonia, Bavilonia, 41, 69, 85 

Ba^erta, 85 

Bacu (Baku), 101, 103 

Bacus (king), 101 

Badajoz, 3, 5 

Bafa (Paphos, Cyprus), 37 

Bagamos, 31 

Bajaxa, 73 

Balaxia, 77 

Baldaque, Bandacho (Baghdad), 69, 

71 
Baltachinca, 103 
Baltic Sea, 10 n.23. See also Alemaiia, 

Sea of 
Bangalia (Vangala), Gulf of (Bay of 

Bengal), 73, 75 
Bar (Bari), 27 
Barbaria, 11 

Barbary Coast, 40 n.l08 
Barcas, Mon de, 41 
Barcelona, 23, 25 



Barleto (Barletta), 27, 29 

Barnachu, 101 

Barrameda, 5 

Basadino, 15 

Batse, 66 n.l64. See also Made 

Bavaria, Mons, 43 

Bayona, 5, 7 

Bayona de Mino, 5 

Beat, 41 

Bediz, 45 

Beijing, 76 n.l90. See also Canbalech, 

SoUn 
Beirut. See Eburut 
Beleen (Bethlehem), 9 
Benabit (Al-Mutamed-ala-Illah), 47 
Benascayt (Abu Said Jan Bahadur), 71, 

87, 91, 93 
Benateo, 61 
Benemarin (Benimarin, Benamarin) 

kings, 45, 51 
Beotia (Boeotia), 34 n.86, 94 n.227 
Berberia, 41, 43, 55 
Bergamo, 24 n.60 
Berwick, 18 n.45 
Bilbao, 5 

Birona (Virona), 15 
Bisagots Islands, 56 n.l44 
Bisuy, 17. See also Wisby 
Bithynia, 34 n.86 
Biver, 31 

Bizcaya (Vizcaya), 5 
Black Sea, 10 n.21, 32 n.81, 69, 89, 

91. See also Great Sea 
Bocarda, 77 
Bocarin, 79, 83, 85 
Boe^ia (Boeotia), 95 
Boemia (Bohemia), 11, 13 
Boemia, Sierras de, 11 
Bolona (Bologna), 25 
Bon Andrea, 41 



124 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



Bondelet, 109, cf. 108 n.265 
Bondizmague, 13. See also Straslund 
Bondola, Insola (Bornholm), 19 
Bonia, 13 
Bornholm, 12 n.25, 18 n.44, 108 

n.265 
Boxnia (Bosnia), 29, 31 
Bragaa, 5 

Brandiza, Brandizo (Brindisi), 27, 29 
Brasara (Basra), 89, cf. 88 n.208 
Brasil, Isla del, 51 
Bratislava, 10 n.20 
Brenichon, 41 
Bretana (Brittany), 7 
Brischan, 45 
Bristol, 18 n.46, 19 
Brujas (Bruges), 9 
Buda, 53 
Bugja, 43 
Bulgaria, 31 
Burbena (Viborg), 11 
Burdeo (Bordeaux), 7 
Burga, 25. See also Bergamo 
Burga, Mount, 59 
Burgalensis, 11 
Burgos, 5 

Burma, 74 n.l84. See also Oxanap 
Burna, 95. See also Varna 
Buxila, 91 
Buyder (Boujdour), Cape, 49, 51, 57, 

cf. 48 n.l29 

Cabat, 71 

Cabras, Islas de las, 51 

Caesar, Julius, 3 

Cafallu, 27. See also Cefalu 

Qafi, 47. See also Safi 

Cahonia, 95. See also Laconia 

Cairo, 40 n.l05. See also Alcaara 

Calabria, 27 



Calahorra, 5 

Calatrava, 5 

Caldea (Chaldea), 67, 69, 71 

(^ale, 45, 47. See also Sale 

Cales (Calais), 9 

Caiman, 17, 107. See also Kalmar 

Cam (Cham, Ham [bibUcal]), 39 

Camar, 89 

Qamora (Zamora), 3, 5 

Cananea (Canaan), 39 

Canardi, 97 

Canary Islands, 48 nn. 128-29, 49, 51 

Canbalech, 77 

Canben, 61 

Cancasum, Mount, 83 

Cancasur, Mare, 85. See also Eastern 

Sea 
Candebor (Alanya), 33, cf 34 n.86 
Caorz, 7 
Caperti, 91 
Capiz, 41 

Cappadocia, 34 n.86 
(^aragofa (Zaragoza), 5, 23 
Caraol, 101 
Carena, 41 
Carpi, 99 

Cartago (Carthage), 47 
Casama, 105. See also Kazan 
Casar, 91. See also Kazerun 
Casot, 31 
Caspios, Mountains, 77, 79, 81, 85, 

87, 101, 103. See also Himalayas 
Castelle (Casteli), 99 
Castilla, 3, 5, 23 
CastUla and Leon (kingdom), 5 
Castrama, 103 
Castro de Urdiales, 5 
Castro Ferrun, 31 
Castro Marin, 5 
Catalant, 13. See also Courland 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



125 



Catania, 27 

Catayo (Cathay), 9, 75, 77, 79, 81, 

83, 85, 93 
Catifi el Quibir, 55 
Catigora, 85 
Cato, 79, 85, 87 
Caucasus. See Caspios 
Qebia, 85 

Cecilia (Sicily), 27, 29 
Cefalu, 26 n.67 
Qensor, 89 
(^epta (Ceuta), 45, 55 
(^erdena, 43. See also Sardinia 
Qesaria (Caesarea), 37 
Qevana, 31 
Qever, 15 
Chalon, 9 
Chequimo, 73 
Chicobergis, 15 
China. See Catayo 
China (Poland), 15 
Chipre (Cyprus), 37, 79, 93 
Chos, 67. See also Quseir 
Chotay, 35. See also Kiitahya 
Qibdat Rodrigo, 3 
C^iguen^a (Sigiienza), 5 
Cihcia, 32 n.84, 34 nn.86, 91. See also 

Armenia Minor 
gilihdia (CiUcia), 35, cf. 34 n.86 
C^itilant (Shedand) Islands, 21 
Civita Vecchia, 26 n.63 
Clamona, 25. See also Cremona 
Cola, 19, 109. See aba Oland 
Colcos, Isla de, 35 
Cologane, 61 
Colon, 33, 73 
Colona (Cologne), 9, 11 
Colunbaria, 51 
Comania, 97 
Compostela, 3 



Conejos, Isla de los, 51 

Conisa, 99 

Constantinopla (Constantinople), 33, 

79, 93, 95 
Contulicanchi, 103 
Copenhagen, 18 n.44. 
Coranchi, 103 
Coranto (Corinth), 31 
Cor^ega (Corsica), 43 
Cordova, 3, 5 
Coria, 3 

Corincho, 33, 35 
Corp (Gotorp), 13 
Corsa, 73 
Cortomar, 75 

Corverit, 13. See also Kolobrzeg 
Costantina, 43 
Cotamanfez, 47. See also Fez 
Cotrun (Cotrone), 27 
Courland, 12 n.31 
Coximocha, 73 
Cremona, 24 n.60 
Creta (Crete, Candia), 33, 93 
Crima, 53 
Crimea, 96 n.230 
Cufi, 85 

Qufia, 43, 47, 51. See also Sousse 
Cuenca, 5 

Cuervos Marines, Isla de los, 51 
Culman, 13. See also Lwow 
Cunio (Iconium, Konya), 35, cf. 34 

n.89 
Cur (river) 

Kura, 79, 88 n.207, 89, 91, 93 

Tigris, 67, 69, 71 
Curconia, 13. See also Krakow 

Dapia, 13 

Dagia de Danes (Denmark), 11, 13, 
109 



126 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



Damasco (Damascus), 39, 67, 89, 93 

Damiaca, 55 

Damianta (Damietta), 39, cf. 38 

nn. 103-4 
Dan, 53 
Dan (river), 37 
Danabu, 37 

Danficha, 13. See also Gdansk 
Dandora, 13. See also Tender 
Danesmare, 13, cf. 12 n.25 
Danubio (Danube) River, 9, 29, 31, 

95 
Dara (Oued Draa) (river), 51 
Daraze, 31. See also Durazzo 
Dardasan, 77 
Dartmouth, 18 n.46 
Dascylium, 98 n.240 
David (King of Georgia), 79, 87 
Dead Sea, 39 
Delhi, 72 nn. 177-78 
DeHni (Lini) (Delhi), 73, 77, cf 72 

n.l77 
Dellys, 44 n. 118 
Demonela, 73 

Denmark. See Da^ia de Danes 
Dement (Derbent), 101 
Descrion, Port, 39 
Desierta, Isla, 51 

Diaschilo, 99. See also Dascylium 
Diepa (Dieppe), 9 
Dirgales, 19 
Djezula, 48 n.l27 

Dniester River, 96 n.228, 104 n.259 
Dodret (Dordrecht), 9 
Don River, 96 nn.230-31, 102 n.250. 

See also Tanay 
Donaueschingen, Lake, 10 n.l9 
Donbehn, Dubilin (Dublin), 21, 23 
Donde, 19. See also Dundee 
Donfres, 19. See also Dumfries 



Dongola, 55, 57 

Dranoya River, 31. See also Drava 

Drava (river), 28 n.71, 30 n.75 

Drina River, 96 n.228 

Drinago 

(island), 31 

(river), 97. See also Drina River 
Drogheda, 20 n.49 
Duero (Douro) River, 5 
Dul^erno (Dulcigno), 31 
Dumfries, 18 n.45 
Dundee, 18 n.45 
Durazzo (Diirres), 30 n.75 
Dvina (river), 104 n.254 

Earthly Paradise, 57, 61, 63, 65 
Eastern Sea (Pacific Ocean), 73, 77, 

79, 83, 85 
Ebro (river), 5, 7, 23 
Ebruc (Enns), 11 
Eburut (Beirut), 37, cf 10 n.20 
Echan (river), 15 
Edinburgh, 18 n.45 
Egipto (Egypt), 39, 41, 55, 57, 67, 69 
Eglesia, 79, 89 
El Giza, 40 n.l05 
Elbahat, Mount, 59 
Elbe River, 12 n.29. See also Albia 
Elmolar, Mount, 59 
Enalco (Kamaranka) River, 59, cf 58 

n.l46 
Eneruit, 19. See also Edinburgh 
England. See Inglaterra 
Enns, 10 n.20 
Enrro, 71. See also Suto 
Entranto (Otranto), 27, 29 
Equatorial Africa. See Gotonie 
Ermon, Mount (Hermon), 39 
Erne (lake), 20 n.49. See also Afortu- 

nado, Lago 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



127 



Erria, 11 

Escalona (Ashqelon), 37 

Escapadofia, 35. See also Cappadocia 

Escarse, Laco, 17, 107 

Esfendin, 19. See also Stor Hedding 

Esclavonia, 29, 31. See also Sebenica 

Escluerza, 103 

Esco^ia (Scodand), 19 

Escorpe, 13. See also Stolpe Bank 

Esfahan (Isfahan), 90 n.217 

Espana (Spain), 3-7, 13, 17, 21-25, 

45, 47, 77, 107, 109 
Espanor, 103 
Essaouira, 46 n.l26 
Estanforda, 21. See also Strangford 
Estela, 7 

Estocol, 17, 107. See also Stockholm 
Estocol, Laco, 17, 107 
Esustar, 89 

Eterus, 21. See also Faroe Islands 
Etiopia (Ethiopia), 55, 57, 61, 63, 65 
Euphrates River (Eufrates), 39, 61, 63, 

69, 79, 89, 93 
Europa, Land of, 15 
Exion Gebel (Eziongeber), 67 

Facolisia, 77 

Fadal (Ra's Fartak), 71, cf 70 n.l73 

Famagosta, 37 

Faquiz, 41 

Faroe Islands, 20 n.51 

Faxa, 99 

Faya, 99 

Feradelfia (Ferandelfia), 35, 99, 101. 

See also Alasehir 
Fernando IV of Castile, 3 
Ferro, Isla de, 51. See also Hierro, Isla 

da 
Fexe (river), 45 
Fez, 45, 47 



Ficxion (river). See Pison River 

Finonia, 11, 109. See also Fyn 

Firmia, 31 

Flandes (Flanders), 9, 17, 109 

Floren^ia (Florence), 25, 27 

Formeans, 15 

Fortunate Islands (Canaries), 49 

Fortunate Lake. See Erne 

Fran(;:ia (France), 7, 9, 19, 25, 27, 31, 

37, 39 
Frenit (Frainet), 25 
Frigia (Phrygia), 35 
Frisa (Frisia), 11, 19 
Frumisia, 73 

Forte Ventura (Fuerteventura), 49, 51 
Furent, 13 
Fyn, 10 n.24 

Gabela, 30 n.73 

Gabencolit, 65 

Gala (Galatia), 35 

Galas (Wales), 19 

Galat, Mount, 39 

Galilee, Sea of, 39 

GaUpoli, 93 

Galhzia (Galicia), 5, 23 

Galloc, 64 n.l59 

Ganabrat, 73 

Ganaht, 53. See also Ghana 

Ganglante, Janglant, 11, 109. See also 

Lolland 
Ganheden (Garden of Eden), 65 
Gaona, 61 

Gascueiia (Gascony), 5, 9 
Gataforda, 21. See also Waterford 
Gayeta (Gaeta), 27 
Gazula, 47, 49, 57. See also Djezula 
Gdansk (Danzig), 12 n.27 
Geneva (Genoa), 25 
Georgia. See Arvasaxia; see also David 



128 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



Gepta, 71 

Germany. See Alemana 

Ghana, 52 n.l35 

Gibraltar, Straits of, 23, 45 

Gide (Jedda), 67, cf. 66 n.l64 

Gigar, 43 

Gion River, 63, 65, 67 

Girazo, 27, 29. See also SquUlace 

Girenti, 27. See also Agrigento 

Giron (river ), 7 

Glaot, 65. See also Galloc 

Godaspi, 87, 103 

Godiana and Magodiana, 77. See also 

Got and Magot (Gog and Magog) 
Gold, Mountains of, 59. See also Kenya 
Golfathan, 71 
Gomar, 73 
Gomera, 49 
Gomorra(h), 39 
Goran, 61 

Gorgania. See Georgia 
Got an4 Magot (Gog and Magog), 80 

n.l95, 81, 83, 107 
Goths, 47, 97, 107 
Gotia, 17, 97, 107 
Gotia, Cape of, 97 
Gotlandia, Godlandia, 17, 107, 109 
Gotonie (Gotonye), 59 
Gra^iona (Gran^iona), 61, 63, 65, cf 

60 n.l53 
Graciosa, 50 n.l30 
Granada, 5, 23 
Granbaet, 73 
Great Sea, 11, 13, 15, 31, 33, 79, 93, 

95, 97, 99, 101, 105. See also 

Black Sea 
Gre^ia (Greece), 31, 95 
Green Sea (South China Sea), 75, 77 
Greifswald, 12 n.26 
Gresa, 49. See also Graciosa 



Grisua, 13 

Grisualdiz (Greifswald), 13 

Gropis, Insola, 57, 59. See also Bisa- 

gots Islands 
Guadalquivir (Betis) (river), 5 
Guadalquivyr (Africa), 43 
Guadiana (river), 5 
Guardamar, 5 

Gunsa, 19. See also Windsor 
Gux (river), 47 

Guynea/Guynoa (Guinea), 53, 55 
Guynea, King of, 49, 51, 53, 55 

Haderslev, 12 n.25. 5ee also Ardonxep 

Heraclea, 92 n.221 

Hierro, Isla de, 51, 50 n.l30 

Himalayas, 76 n.l89 

Hippo (Annaba), 42 n.ll5 

Holagou (Hulagu) Khan, 68 n.l69. 

See also MerUnus Tartarus 
Horgimil, 105 

Hormixio (Hormuz), 71, 73, 91 
Hypsih, 100 n.241 

Ibemia, 21 

Iceland, 20 n.51 

Iconium (Konya), 34 nn. 88-89 

Iherusalem (Jerusalem), 37, 39 

India, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 85 

India (Yndia), Sea of, 59, 65, 67, 69, 

71, 73, 75, 77, 85, 91 
Infiemo, Isla del, 49, cf 50 n.l30 
Inglaterra (England), 9, 19, 21 
Iraq, 78 n.l93, 88 n.208. 5ee also Al- 

Hirac, Lairag 
Irlanda (Ireland), 21, 23 
Iron Gates, 100 n.244 
Isauria, 35 

Isfurent (mountain), 51 
Islas de la Caridat, 48 n.l29 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



129 



Islas Perdidas. See Lost Islands 
Italy, 25-29 

Jabal ash-Shaykh, 38 n.99 

Jacob, 39 

Jafa (Jaffa), 37 

Jafet, 39, 89, 93 

Jahen (Jaen), 3 

Januas Ferri, 101. See also Iron Gates 

Janula, Ysla de (Kulaly), 79 

Jara (Zara), 29 

Jason, 35 

Jaurin, 31 

Java, 75, 77 

Javales, 75 

Jedda, 66 n.l64 

Jesus Christ, 3, 9, 39 

Jor (river), 37 

Jordan River, 37 

Jorgania, 89, 101 

Jorjamen, 91. See also Esfahan 

Judah (son of Jacob), 39 

Judea, 39 

Kalmar, 16 n.41 
Kamaranka River, 58 n.l46 
Kazan, 104 n.257 
Kazerun, 90 n.217 
Kenya, Mount, 58 n.l47 
Kerch, 96 n.230 
Kholm, 104 n.252 
Kilimanjaro, 58 n.l47 
Kizil (river), 100 n.242 
Kolobrzeg, 12 n.27 
Krakow, 12 n.30 
Kulaly, Island of, 78 n.l92 
Kutahya, 34 n.91 

La9eria, 77 
Laconia, 94 n.227 



Lacus Danoye, 11. See also Donau- 

eschingen 
Lairag, 38 n.lOl, 39. See also Iraq 
Laiso, 37 

Lajuza, 41. See also El Giza 
Lamiso (Limassol), 37, cf 36 n.95 
Lanfarote, 49, 51 
Landis, 15 

La Risa, 39. See also El Arish 
Lasat, 105. See also Lyskovo 
Lazocaque, Angostura de (Straits of), 

45. See also Gibraltar 
Lebanon. See Libano 
Lefedomonia (Lacedaemonia), 95 
Lecmane (Madeira Islands), 50 n.l30, 

51 
Leobet, 8 n.l4, 9 
Leon 

(Lyon, France), 8 nn. 16-17, 9, 24 
n.58 

(Poland), 15 

(Spain), 5 
Leptis Magna, 40 n.llO 
Letana (Tana), Sea of, 79, 97, cf 78 

n.l92. See abo Azov, Sea of 
Letduena (Lyon), 25 
Levante, 87 
Libano, 37 

Libya, 40 nn.l08, 110 
Lidebo, 67. See also Aidhab 
Ligen, 41 
Limassol, 36 n.95 
Limerick, 20 n.49 
Limogines (Limoges), 7 
Lini. See Delini 
Lirri (Lirry) (mountain), 59 
Lisboa (Lisbon), 5 
Lister (Listerlandet), 19, 109 
Litefama (Livonia), 13, 15 
Lobo, Isla del, 51 



130 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



Lodomago, 95 

Loira (Loire) (river), 7 

LoUand, 10 n.24, 108 n.266 

Lonbardia (Lombardy), 25, 29 

Londis (Lund), 107 

Londres (London), 19 

Longavisa, 77 

Lorca, 23 

Lormandia (Normandy), 7 

Lost Islands (Canaries), 49, 57 

Lubet (Liibeck), 13 

Luchon, 41 

Lugo, 5 

Lunbret, 15 

Lurdevit, 9 

Lusim (river), 105 

Lusur, 97 

Lwow, 12 n.30 

Lyskovo, 104 n.257 

Maastricht, 8 n.l4 

Macah, Land of, 95. See also Mount 

Mycale 
Macedonia, 93, 95 
Ma^esno, 31 
Made, 67. See also Batse 
Madeira Islands, 50 n.l30 
Maganga, 45. See also Mostaganem 
Magdasor (Mogadishu), 65, 67, cf. 64 

n.l59 
Magi, 9 

Magot, 85. See also Got and Magot 
Magot (Magoti) (river), 77, 79 
Magro, Port (Leptis Magna?), 41, cf. 

40n.ll0 
Mahobar, 73 
Mahumen, 89 
Malaga, 23 
Malagona, 25 
Malascort, 89 



Malatya, 92 n.219 

Malaxia, 93. See also Malatya 

Malaxia Bira, 89 

Malek Nasser, 41 

Mahcun, 61 

Malocello, Lancelloto, 48 n.l29 

Malsa, 63, 65 

Manbrot, 75 

Manji, 84 n.201 

Manola, 55 

Manro Castro, 97 

Manzie, Insula, 85. See also Manji 

Mar Mayor. See Great Sea 

Mar Meridional, 72 

Mar Ofiano. See Ocean Sea 

Mar Ogidental. See Western Sea 

Mar Oriental. See Eastern Sea 

Mar Verde. See Green Sea 

Marbaxa, 33. See also Monemvasia 

Marruecos (Morocco), 45, 47, 57 

Marsella (Marseilles), 25 

Mascarota, 51 

Masol, 89, cf 88 n.208 

Materga, 97. See also Kerch 

Maumet, 103 

Maxa, 9. See also Maastricht 

Maxar, 105. See also Moxia 

Maxate, 89 

Mayorca, 45 

Me^a, Meca (Mecca), 67, 71 

Medina (Messina), 27 

Medio, 87 

Medio Lanensis (Milan), 25 

Medio Terreno/Mediterraneo, Sea 
(Mediterranean), 5, 7, 9, 23, 25, 
27, 35, 45, 55, 79, 89, 93 

Medorun Empire, 87 

Mehlla, 44 n.l22 

Menalaus (Menelaus), king, 35 

Menoar, 77 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



131 



Merida, 5 

Merlinus Tartarus (emperor [Hulagu 

Khan?]), 69. See also Holagou Khan 
Merma, 55 

Mertvoy (gulf), 86 n.205, 102 n.247 
Mes^a, 53 

Meseber (Mesemvria), 95 
Mesopotania (Mesopotamia), 69, 79, 

81, 93 
Milford, 18 n.46 
Miluya (Melilla), 45 
Miquynez (Meknes), 47 
Miraforda, 19. See also Milford 
MiramamoUn kings, 47 
Mistrayn/Mestrayn (Egypt), 69, cf. 68 

n.l67 
Mof ena, 45 
Mogadishu, 64 n.l59 
Mogodor, 47 
Mogoles, 75 
Mogolin, Land of, 83 
Mohammed, 23, 43, 71 
Mon Falcon, 69, cf 68 n.l70 
Monago (Monaco), 25 
Monapoh (Monopoli), 27, 29 
Moncaspi, 73 
Mondonedo, 5 
Monemvasia, 32 n.77 
Monfrodoye (Manfredonia), 27 
Mongoha. See Mogoles 
Monimenti, Gulf of, 87, 103, cf 102 

n.247 
Monpesler (Montpellier), 25 
Monsaior (Moscow), 105 
Montedragon (Mondragone), 27 
Monies Claros, 40, 44, 46, 50, 52, 56. 

See also Adas Mountains, White 

Mountains 
Moon, Mountains of the, 59. See also 

Kihmanjaro 



Morea (Peloponnesus), 31, 33, 93 

Morgales, 19 

Moroa, 75 

Morocco, 44 n.l23, 48 n.l29 

Morrosia, 77 

Morroy, Gran Can (emperor), 77 

Moscow. See Monsaior 

Moses, 69 

Mostaganem, 44 n.l21. 

Moxia, 104 n.257 

Mur^ia, 3, 5 

Mutam, 33 

Mycale, Mount, 94 n.227 

Myrria, 31 

Na, Cape, 49 

Napol (Naples), 27, 29 

Narbona (Narbonne), 7, 25 

Narent, 31. See also Narona 

Narona (Narbona), 30 n.73 

Navarra, 5, 7, 23 

Neapoli, 33 

Nebuchadnezzar, 3, 69 

Nega, 89 

Negro Ponte (Euboea), 33, 93 

Negro, Mar, 68. See also Persian Gulf 

Nice, 24 n.58 

Nicosia, 36 n.95 

Nidroxia, 17 

Nife, 47 

Nigropila, Port of, 97 

NUe River (Nilus, Nilo), 39, 41, 55, 

57, 59, 65, 69 
Ninive, 69 

Nista, 24, 25. See also Nice 
No, Cape, 57 
Noah, 39, 89 

Nogarado (Novgorod), 105 
Nogat River, 14 n.33 
Nogulaus, Land of, 107 



132 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



Noncla, 73 

Noranda, 77 

Norgan^ia, 79 

Norgan^io, 83, 87 

Nori, 87 

Normandy. See Lormandia 

Noruega (Norway), 13, 15, 17, 19, 

23, 107 
Noxia, 13 
Nu (river) 

Dvina, 105, cf. 104 n.254 

Nogat, 15, cf. 14 n.33 
Nubia, 55, 57, 61, 63, 65, 69, 85 
Nugradia, 15 
Numedia (Numidia), 45 
Nycoxia, 37. See also Nicosia 

Oadat, 55 

Ocean Sea, 61. See also Adantic Ocean 

Odense, 12 n.25 

Odessa, 104 n.259 

Ohre River, 10 n.22. See also Albia 

Oland, 18 n.44, 108 n.265 

Oran, 44 n. 121, 45 

Orbe, 89 

Orens, 1 1 . See also Odense 

Orga, 77 

Organa, 53, 55 

Organ^io (Amu Dar'ya, Oxus) (river), 

86 n.203, 87 
Orgando, Mons, 55 
Orin^infia River, 95 
Orinorde, 91 
Orkney Islands, 20 n.51 
Oroumieh (Urmia) (lake), 90 n.213 
Ortodoxis (Earthly Paradise), 65 
Orzia, 55 
Osel, 16 n.39 
Osma, 5 
Ostia, 27 



Oued Draa (river), 52 n.l32 
Oviedo, 5 

Oxanap (Burma), 75, 77, cf. 74 n.l84 
Oxilia, 17. See also Osel 

Pacific Ocean, 72 n.l81. See also East- 
ern Sea 

Padua, 25 

Palenfia, 5 

Palermo, 27 

Palestina (Palestine), 37 

Palma, 50 n.l30 

Palola, 55, 59 

Palolimen (Scutari), 99, cf 98 n.238 

Palonia, 15, 31 

Panfilia (Pamphylia), 35 

Panonia, 25. See also Parma 

Panonia (Pannonia) (Romania), 11 

Panora, 73 

Panplona (Pamplona), 7 

Paphos (Cyprus), 36 n.95 

Para (Paros), 95, cf 94 n.227 

Paradisa, Insula, 85. See also Taiwan 

Parenzo, 29 

Pari, 27. See also Patti 

Paris, 7, 9 

Parma, 24 n.60 

Paros, 94 n.227 

Partalbert, 41 

Pascar (Paschar), 73, 107 

Passau, 10 n.20 

Pastello, 91 

Patania (Passau), 11, cf 10 n.20 

Patris (Patrai), 31 

Patti, 26 n.67 

Pavia, 25 

Pavonia, 29 

Persia, 71, 79, 85, 87, 89, 91, 93, 101, 103 

Persian Gulf (Porticun/Perticun Sea), 
68 n.l66, 70 n.l74 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



133 



Pescara, 27, 29 

Pesonta, 97. See also Pitsunda 

Pharaoh, 67 

Philadelphia, 98 n.240. See also Alase- 

hir, Feradelfia 
Phrygia, 34 nn.86-87 
Piacenza, 24 nn.60— 61 
Picardia (Picardy), 9 
Pidea, 97, 103 

Pinka River (Pinga), 96 n.228 
Pirineos/Perineos (Pyrenees) (moun- 
tains), 7, 9, 23 
Pirus 

(Epirus) (mountain), 93 

(river), 31, 95 
Pisa, 25, 27 
Pison River (Ficxion, Fison), 62 n.l56, 

63,65 
Piteos, 7 

Pitsunda, 96 n.232 
Plazenfia 

(Italy), 25. See also Piacenza 

(Spain), 3 
Plymouth, 18 n.46 
Policastro, 27 
Polonia (Poland), 15 
Ponte Vedra, 5, 23 
Port Bonel (island), 34 n.92, 35 
Porticun (Par^icun, Perticun) Sea, 69, 

71. See also Persian Gulf 
Portogal (Portugal), 5 
PortogaUo, 5 
Posga, 31 

Posna (Poznan), 13 
Praga (Prague), 13 
Premua, 19. See also Plymouth 
Premua del Rey (Tehran), 91, cf. 90 

n.215 
Prester John, 61, 63, 65 
Proen^ia (Provence), 9, 25 



Ptolemy, 49 
Puerto de Lobo, 97 
Puerto Santo, 51 
PuUa, 27. See also ApuHa 
Punta Rancha, 99 

Qeshm, 68 n.l71, 70 n.l75, 88 n.208. 

See also Aquisio 
Qible, 59. See also Sherbro Islands 
Quillan, 101, 103 
Quinisonda, 99 
Quseir, 66 n.l64 

Ra's Fartak, 70 n.l73 
Raansinlia, 87. See also Astrakhan 
Raba/Rabeza (Raab) River, 28 n.71, 

29,97 
Rachan, 49 

Rachid (Rosetta), 40 n.l06 
Rafama, 77 
Rahasa, 41 
Randers, 12 n.25 
Rasaquipal, 67 
Rastaor (Rostov), 103 
Ratisbon (Regensburg), 10 n.l9 
Ravena (Ravenna), 24 n.60, 25, 29 
Raxy, 47 

Refira, 93. See also Heraclea 
Red Sea, 67, 69, 89 
Regensburg. See Ratisbon 
Reggio, 26 n.65, 28 n.68 
Regis, 17 

Remondo, Count of Tolosa, 25 
Repeleta, 37 
Reversa, 103 
Rexos Mountains, 97 
Rezo, 27, 29. See also Reggio 
Rhodes, 32 nn.78-80 
Rhone River, 8 n.l6 
Ribas Alvas, 41 



134 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



Ribate, 47 

Ribe, 12 n.25 

Rinalia, 15 

Ringsted, 18 n.44 

Rinus (Rhine) River, 9 

Rio de Oro. See River of Gold 

Risent, 19. See also Ringsted 

River of Gold, 49, 53, 55, 57, 59 

Roan, 9. See also Rouen 

Rochela (La Rochelle), 7 

Roda (Rodah), 41 

Rodas (Rhodes), 33 

Roderin, 15, 17, 107 

Roha, 64 n.l59 

Rois, 21. See also Rosslare 

Roma (Rome), 27 

Romaiqua, 47 

Romana, 27 

Romania, 15, 93. See also Panonia 

Romans, 47, 85 

Rosetta, 40 n.l06 

Rosslare, 20 n.49 

Rostot (Rostock), 13 

Rostov, 104 n.252 

Rouen, 8 n.l3 

Roxeto, 41. See also Rachid, Rosetta 

Roxia (Russia), 103 

Ruedano (Rhone) River, 9, 25 

Rusna, 73 

Ruyna, 11 

Sabba (Sabaea, South Arabia), 71, 73 

Sabur (Sebur), 103 

Sacam (Suakin), 67, cf 66 n.l63 

Sacan, 67 

Safi, 46 n.l26 

Sagela, 73. See also Sri Lanka 

Sahara Desert. See Zahara 

Saina (Seine) River, 7 

Saint John, Order of, 33, 37 



Saint-Malo, Gulf of, 6 n.ll 

Saladino, 31 

Salado, Battle of, 22 n.54 

Salamanca, 3 

Salamoda, 91 

Salanda/Salandia (island), 19, 109. See 
also Sjaelland 

Salandi, 19. See also Copenhagen 

Saldania, 91 

Sale, 44 n.l23 

Salerno, 27 

Salonico (Thessalonica), 93 

Salvaje Islands, 51. See also Savage 

Samalo (Saint-Malo), 7 

Samaria, 35, cf 34 n.90 

Samarkand, 78 n.l93 

Samasco, 99 

Sancho IV of Castile, 3 

Sandomierz, 12 n.30 

Sanesteban de Gormaz, 5 

Sangui, 103 

Sanmae, Punta de, 7 

Sant Ander, 5 

Sant Bin, Cape of, 49 

Sant Estopoh, 97, 99. See also Sevas- 
topol 

Sant Jorge, Isla de, 51 

Sant Mirio, 13. See also Sandomierz 

Sant Sebastian, 5 

Santa Maria (Poland), 15 

Santa Sedra (Santa Severa), 27 

Santaren, 5 

Saona (Savona), 25 

Saploya, 5 

Sar River, 29. See also Sava 

Sara 

(empire), 81, 87, 101, 103 

Sea of, 79, 87, 91, 99, 101, 103 

Sara de Bacu (sea), 101 

Sarax, 105. See also Odessa 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



135 



Sardinia, 42 n.ll5 

Sargis, Mar (Lake Urmia), 91. See also 
Oroumieh 

Sarma (Sarmat), 65, cf. 64 n.l59 

Sarmagant(e), 79, 83, 89. See also Sam- 
arkand 

Satalia, 33. See also AdaUa 

Sava (river), 28 n.71 

Savage Islands, 50 n.l30 

Savasco, 35, 79, 101. See also Sivas 

Scalea, 27 

Schilazo, 27. See also Squillace 

Sfim (Siam), 79, 83, 85 

S^in, Gulf of (Sirtis), 41 

Scipio Africanus, 47 

Scodand. See Esco^ia 

Scutari, 98 n.238 

Scythia, 104 n.255 

Sebenica, 28 nn.69, 72 

Segovia, 3 

Seleucia (Samandagi), 36 n.97 

Semiso (Semsun), 99 

Sena (Senj), 29 

Septen Castra (Horgimil), 105 

Seranes, 91 

Serayn, 67. See abo Sirrein 

Sericun, Mare. See Pacific Ocean 

Sersel, 45 

Servia, 31 

Sevastopol, 96 n.232 

Sevilla, 3, 5, 109 

Seyr (mount), 39 

Shah Uzbek (Uxbeto) (kingdom). See 
Uxbeco 

Sherbro Islands, 58 n.l45 

Shiraz, 90 n.215 

Siam. See S^im 

Siberia, 82 n.l97. 

Sicfia, 105. See also Scythia 

Si^ia, 37 



Sicily, 26 nn.66— 67 

Sicroca (Socotra), 71 

Sidan (Sudan), 53 

Sierra de Segovia, 5 

Sierra de Segura, 5 

Sierra Leone, 58 nn. 145—46 

Sierra Morena, 5 

Sigjlmesa (Segelmessa), 50 n.l31 

Signa, 31 

Sigre (river), 7 

Silia (Cilicia), 35 

Silvana, 105. See also Transylvania 

Sinbichon, 31. See also Gabela 

Sinca (river), 7, 23 

Sinop, 98 n.237 

Siras, 79 

Sirca, 13 

Sirracusana (Siracusa), 27 

Sirrein, 66 n.l64 

Sivas, 100 n.242 

SjaeUand, 18 n.44 

Socotra. See Sicroca 

Sodom(a), Sodomia, 39, 69 

Solanda (Colanda), 9, 11. See also 

Zeeland 
Solin, 77 
Solomon, 39 

Sophia, Santa (church), 93 
Sordepinche (Sordekoping), 17, 107 
Sorfaxa, 75 
Soria, 5 
Sorleonis, 65 
Sormen^es, 107 
Sorrento, 26 n.65 
Sousse, 42 n.ll2 
South China Sea. See Green Sea 
Southampton, 18 n.46 
Spain. See Espaiia 
Spalonero, 91 
Spaor, 91 



136 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



Squillace, 26 n.65. See also Girazo, 

Schilazo 
Sri Lanka, 72 n.l79, 74 n.l83. See also 

Trapovana 
Stockholm, 16 nn.38, 41, 106 n.264. 
Stolpe Bank, 12 n.27 
Stor Hedding, 18 n.44 
Strangford, 20 n.49 
Straslund, 12 n.26 
Strugonun, 31 
Suakin, 66 n.l63 
Suana, 15 

Suevia (Sweden), 15, 17, 107 
Sufragia, Land of, 95 
Sugulnien(ja (Segelmessa), 51 
Sumatra, 74 n.l83 
Sur (river), 101. See also Kizil 
Surenti, 27. See also Sorrento 
Suria (Syria), 37, 39, 93 
Surmena (river), 89 
Suto, 70 n.l74 
Sweden. See Suevia 
Sydon (mountain), 53 
Syras (Sarax), 91. See also Shiraz 

Tabasur Sea, 81 

Tabelbala, 52 n.l33 

Tabriz, 78 n.l93 

Tagojar, Land of, 83 

Taiwan, 84 n.201 

Tajo (Tagus) (river), 5 

Tamar, Mons, 55 

Tamgrout, 52 n.l32 

Tana, 97, cf 96 n.231 

Tana, Sea of, 97 

Tanaiz (lake), 15 

Tanay (Don) River, 97, 103, 105, cf 

96 n.231 
Tandeus, 1 1 . See also Randers 
Tanjar, 47 



Tarabulus, 92 n.220 

Tarabut, Port of, 41 

Tarafona (Terracina), 27 

Tarento, 27 

Tarifa, 23 

Tarragona, 23 

Tarsa, 15 

Tarso (Tarsus), 35, 37 

Tartaria, 77, 79, 83, 107 

Tauser, 55 

Tehran, 90 n.215 

Telemark, 18 n.45 

Tenerefiz (Tenerife), 49 

Tenexe, Port (Tinnis), 39 

Thesi, 91 

Thessaly, 94 n.227 

Tibalbert, 53. See also Tabelbala 

Tiberia, 39 

Tibet, 82 n.l99. 

Tibre (Tiber) River, 27 

Tifer, 103 

Tigris River, 63, 87. See also Cur 

Tille, Insula, 19, cf 18 n.45 

Timer, Mons, 55 

Titeliz, 43. See also Dellys 

Tocoron (Tamgrout), 51, 53, cf 52 

n.l32 
Toledo, 3, 5 

Tolometa (Ptolemais), 41 
Tolosa 

(Toulouse, France), 7 

(Tholosa, Spain), 25 
Tender, 12 n.25 
Tordaor, 77 

Toris, 79, 89, 91. See also Tabriz 
Tore (Taurus) Mountains, 67, 87, 89, 

101 
Tortosa, 5, 23 
Toscana (Tuscany), 25, 27 
Transylvania, 104 n.258 



NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



137 



Trapana (Trapani), 27 

Trapesonda (Trebizond), 89, 99 

Trapovana (Taprobane, Ceylon), 75, 
cf. 74 n.l83 

Trareoza (Troezen), 31 

Trastago, 79 

Treme^en (Tremisin, Tlemcen), 45, 
53, 55 

Trescargo, 103 

Triesa (Trieste), 29 

Trinaberet, 17 

Trimisin, 55 

Trimit (Tibet), 83, cf. 82 n.l99 

Tripolitana Mountains, 41 

Tripul de Berberia (Tripoli, Libya), 41 

Tripul de la Suria (Tripoli), 37, 93. 
See also Tarabulus 

Tronde, 17 

Troy a (Troy), 35, 99 

Trues, 15 

Tudela, 5, 7 

Tunez (Tunisia), 43, 45 

Turbo (river), 95, 105. See also Dnies- 
ter 

Turonie (river), 13. See also Wista 

Turquia, Turquya (Turkey), 33, 35, 
79, 95, 99, 101 

Tus, Cape of, 97 

Tusi, 73 

Tusna, 11 

Tuy, 5 

Tyr/Tir (river), 103, 105, 107 

Uadi Rima, 66 n.l64 
U^ibant, 15 
Ukraine, 106 n.260 
Unda 

Africa, 61 

Europe, 31 
Une, 45 



Ungria (Hungary), 11, 29, 31, 95 
Ur (river), 29, 31, 97. See also Drava 
Urma, 64 n.l59 
Urmia. See Oroumieh 
Uxbeco (Uxbeto) (Shah Uzbek) (king- 
dom), 87, 91, 93, 97, 99, 101, 103 

Valencia, 23 

Van, 90 n.214 

Van Golii (lake), 90 n.213 

Vandalor (Vltava) River, 13 

Vandals, 46 n.l25 

Var, 103 

Varispona (Regensburg), 11. See also 

Ratisbon 
Varna, 94 n.226 

Ve^ina, 11, 31, 95, 97. See also Vidin 
Ve(jine River, 97 
Veda, 99 
Vegimar, 49 

Venecia (Venice), 27, 29 
Ventura, Isla de la, 51 
Veruit, 19. See also Berwick 
Veya, 27. See abo Civita Vecchia 
Vezimarin, 49 
Viana (Vienna), 11 
Viborg, 12 n.25 
Vidin, 10 n.21 
Viguy, 73, 75, 77 
Virona, 105 

Vitilia,.35. See also Bithynia 
Vltava River. See Vandalor 
Vyma, 65. See also Urma 

Wales. See Galas 

Waterford, 20 n.49 

Western Sea/Ocean, 5, 7, 15, 23, 45, 

47, 49, 57, 59, 73. See also Adan- 

tic Ocean 
White Mountains, 41, 45, 47, 51, 53, 



138 NAMES AND PLACES IN THE TEXT/TRANSLATION 



57. See also Atlas Mountains, 

Montes Claros 
Windsor, 18 n.46 
Wisby, 16 n.39 
Wista River, 12 n.27 

Xaloat, 75 

Xaxonia (Saxony), 13 

Xorman (Kholm), 105, cf. 104 n.252 

Ymeric, 21. See also Limerick 
Yrcania, 107. See also Ukraine 
Ystat, 15, 107 



Yude (Zebid), 67, cf. 66 n.l64 

Zahara, Zaara (Sahara Desert), 51, 53, 
55 

Zadar, Zara. See Jara, Jaurin 
Zamatana, 49 
Zanno, 61 
Zebid, 66 n.l64 
Zeeland, 8 n.l4, 10 n.22 
Zichialhamera (mountains), 51 
Zinzibar (Zanzibar), 67 
Zunara, 41 



MRT5 



MEDIEVAI, AND RENAISSANCE TEXTS AND STUDIES 

is the major publishing program of the 

Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies 

at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. 

MRTS emphasizes books that are needed — 
texts, translations, and major research tools. 

MRTS aims to publish the highest quality scholarship 
in attractive and durable format at modest cost. 



Current scholarship regards the El libra del conoscimiento de todos los reinos 
(The Book of Know^ledge of All Kingdoms), an anonymous work of 
some 20,000 words composed in the last quarter of the fourteenth century, 
as a pseudo-travel book that does not describe an authentic voyage through- 
out the known world as it claims. It is rather a geographical novel probably 
composed with the aid of a portolan chart or mappamundi. In the fourteenth 
and fifteenth centuries, it was regarded as a reliable travel account and was 
therefore used as a geographical textbook and may have been used in the 
production of the important Este World Map. 

The facing-page translation presented here is based on the four known 
manuscripts of the Conoscimiento. The edition also includes 110 heraldic de- 
vices that identify each kingdom mentioned. 

Nancy F. Marino is Professor of Spanish at Michigan State University.